From the publisher:
“The Johannesburg Art Gallery’s retrospective on Thami Mnyele and the Medu Art Ensemble, which opened in 2008, was the culmination of years of work. It was not only the retrospective of a group that perished violently 23 years earlier, but the story of an artist, of cultural workers, and of Medu’s particular cultural struggle from exile. The retrospective paid tribute to the zenith of Medu’s activities: hosting a symposium in 1982 where cultural workers met to define future strategies for their political front.
Thamsanqa Harry ‘Thami’ Mnyele featured at the centre of the exhibition. His talent as an artist and his political activism were fundamental to consolidating Medu’s political and cultural profile. The exhibition followed Thami’s intellectual and creative development as an artist, through his images and texts, which together mirror the plight – but also the dreams and aspirations – of South Africa’s disenfranchised.”
30 x 23,5cm | 304 pages | softcover
Clive Kellner is the Executive Director of the Joburg Contemporary Art Foundation. Previously, he was the Head and Chief Curator of the Johannesburg Art Gallery, co-founder and Director of Camouflage Art Centre, and coordinator of the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale. He has curated several exhibitions including, 2020 (JCAF) , 2013 (Haus der Kunst) , 2008 (JAG) , 2001 (Camouflage) and , 2000 (Videobrasil), amongst others.
Cuban-born Sergio-Albio González was among the first white, international members of Medu, the South African resistance art collective based in Botswana. Having relocated to Sweden as a young adult, González became active in agitprop poster design, working for the Cuban Friendship Association. On moving to Botswana some years later to work for the Swedish Aid Mission (Sida), he became the head of poster production for Medu’s graphic unit. González was involved in organising the Medu exhibition in 1982 (Botswana) and two retrospectives of the group’s work in 2008 (Johannesburg Art Gallery) and 2009 (Botswana).