Gerald Machona & Tankiso Mamabolo Survive
The internal tensions between South African Fallist protesters are conveyed in sound and vision in this minimalistic music video.
Survive is a collaboration between Gerald Machona and Tankiso Mamabolo and builds a bridge between video art and video clip. The work explores the experiences of black students at the time of the Fallist movement’s surge through South African universities in 2015 and 2016. The term Fallist was coined following the use of the hashtag #rhodesmustfall, which refers the student movement that demanded the removal of the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, the former Prime Minister and coloniser of the Cape Colony. In this way the movement is attempting to actively decolonise South African institutions and universities.
Survive also raises questions about education, which is seen as a guiding path to progress for disadvantaged communities. Navigating this path is a complex process, however, where individual ambitions and institutionalised colonialism don’t automatically go hand in hand.
“I compared the books of students who participated in the Fallist protests. Books that they were reading at that moment or that they had written themselves. Tankiso then wrapped herself in her traditional Basotho blanket and we stacked all the books on her head while she sang a song about her experience with the academic world in the time of these protests. “
The video work invites viewers to examine the tensions and internal discussions of the protesters while they wrestle (with themselves) for validation.
Part of NORMAL SCHNORMAL, a multidisciplinary programme on normality and other deviations.
ZW, 2018, 4’
Ongoing, English spoken