Book Launch: The ANC and the Regeneration of Political Power


Contemporary visual art in Zimbabwe

AFAI’s next Art Talk features Zimbabwean fine artist Richard Mudariki introducing the work of a handful of his favourite contemporary Zimbabwean visual artists:


The Malema Dilema

Out in Africa Poster Exhibition

It is Creative Week Cape Town 2011 and the Cape Town Democracy Centre is hosting one of the must see events. The Out in Africa South African Gay and Lesbian Film Festival has been a fabulous annual cultural happening since its launch in 1994 and over the years OIA has commissioned wonderful artwork for their publicity. The posters have not been without controversy. One year all were stolen during the festival from Cape Town’s lampposts; someone was either truly offended, or thought they were very desirable.

The Creative Week exhibition showcases the work of four designers:

Charlotte Ewins (1998-2003), Peet Pienaar (10th to 13th film festivals, 2004-2007), Toby Attwell (14th to 16th festivals, 2008-2010) and Fred Viljoen (three mini-festivals in 2011).The diversity and creativity of the Out in Africa posters, publicly shown together for the first time, is a pleasure to see. The OIA Gay and Lesbian Film Festival has given South Africa not only a culture of good films, but also a culture of good posters. Please join us at 6 Spin Street for a glass of wine on Wednesday 14 September at 6 p. m.  The posters are on view until 17 September. 6 Spin Street Restaurant is a sponsor of the film festival.

Enquiries: 6 Spin Street Restaurant 021 461 0666

Influences on contemporary Nigerian visual artists

‘Influences on contemporary Nigerian visual artists’ will be the topic of an Art Talk hosted by the African Arts Institute (AFAI) at 6 Spin Street, Cape Town, on Tuesday 20 September at 6.30pm.

This is the second in a series of Art Talks on issues relating to contemporary visual arts from the continent of Africa, presented as part of AFAI’s Learn Africa Love Africa event programme. It will be presented by Kathy Coates, writer, researcher and arts educator at the Iziko South African National Gallery. Ms Coates is also a former lecturer at the Michaelis School of Fine Art.

Ms Coates participated in a fellowship programme at the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) in Lagos earlier this year. Her research covered traditional Nigerian art forms, rituals, masquerades, costumes and performance practices and how these influence the work of selected contemporary artists. For this purpose Coates engaged with Nigerian artists, art work, collectors, curators, academics and galleries in and around Lagos.

OYASAF is a non-profit organisation established in 2007 to promote the appreciation and study of Nigerian arts and artists, both in Nigeria and internationally. Through scholarships the organisation has hosted eights scholars from the US, Europe and South Africa in the last two years.

The hour-long Art Talk will start at 6.30pm in the lecture room of the Cape Town Centre for Democracy at 6 Spin Street, next to the offices of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa. The talk will be preceded by a Spier Creative Block wine tasting from 6pm.

Tickets are R30 and booking is essential due to the venue’s limited capacity.  To book, email or phone 021-465 9027.

Other Art Talks in the Learn Africa Love Africa series will include: Richard Mudariki, a Zimbabwean artist living and working in Cape Town, with a presentation titled The visual Arts in Zimbabwe: Creators, Context and Contents on 18 October; author, journalist and former editor of Art South Africa, Sean O’ Toole, with an overview of his African experience at the 2011 Venice Biennale on 15 November; and Mario Pissarra, Managing Director of Africa South Art Initiative ( with Decolonisation as a theme in the work of contemporary African artists, on 6 December.

For up to date information on all events as part of Learn Africa, Love Africa, visit and Facebook.

Learn Africa, Love Africa is supported by Spier and the M-Net African Film Library.

Book Launch: Metal That Will Not Bend

You are invited to the launch of:

Metal That Will Not Bend – The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, 1980-1995

by Kally Forrest

Date: Thursday 25 August 2011

Time: 5.30pm for 6.00pm

Place: Lobby Books, 6 Spin Street, Cape Town

RSVP: Andreas Späth or 021 467 7606

In the 1980s there was a surge of trade union power on a scale not previously experienced in South Africa. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) was a highly prominent and innovative union in this assertion of muscle and one of Cosatu’s most radical affiliates, and its story is one of astonishing achievements as its activities built workers’ rights and deeply eroded the apartheid state. Metal That Will Not Bend – a translation of the union’s motto Insimbi ayigobi – tells that story by revisiting the formation of the powerful modern day union movement.

The trade union movement kept the internal struggle alive in the late 1980s when community organisations in the United Democratic Front (UDF) had been smashed. Many books have been published on the ANCs struggle for liberation. However, this critical aspect of internal mass mobilisation, which put pressure on the apartheid state through huge stayaways and which relied almost entirely on the organisation of Cosatu and its strong affiliates, has generally not been adequately explored. Metal That Will Not Bend traces the themes of power, independence and workers’ control as they were practiced by Numsa. A number of small metal organisations with at times antagonistic organisational and political strategies were built in different ways and with different attitudes to the exiled liberation movements in the early 1980s. They eventually unified into one powerful organisation.

Kally Forrest describes how workers’ struggles built this power, and she scrutinises the strategies used in the late 1980s, such as innovative bargaining strategies, to significantly improve the conditions of impoverished workers. The book then progresses to examine how Numsa used its power in an attempt to insert a workers’ perspective into the political transition of the early 1990s. It explores the obstacles the union faced, such as the violence that erupted across the country, and its commonality and divergence from the politics of the liberation movements (chiefly the ANC).

Mass deportation and the spectre of xenophobic violence

The Africa Project for a Participatory Society and Passop invite you to a discussion of a new research report on:

The Zimbabwe Dispensation Project:

The possibility of mass deportation of foreigners and the spectre of xenophobic violence


Chair:  Mandisi Majavu (Independent Researcher)

Speaker:  Siddiq Khan (Poet)

Speaker: Braam Hanekom (Passop Director)


Date:              Thursday 25 August 2011

Time:             13:00

Place:            Idasa’s Cape Town Democracy Centre, 6 Spin Street,

                      Cape Town