Uncovering a discourse centered on 

the voices of Black women



Thuli Gamedze

Lungiswa Gqunta

Bronwyn Katz

Bonolo Kavula

Matlhogonolo Kelapile

Pinky Mayeng

Thandiwe Msebenzi

Sethembile Msezane

Sisipho Ngodwana

Asemahle Ntlonti

Buhlebezwe Siwani



So what should we write in this thing? It’s difficult to know what the art world might be expecting because it’s rare that eleven black women artists sit together and formulate a collective project. We get the feeling that our positionality would grant us an exoticising audience either way. No pressure?


We are iQhiya- young black women who collided paths in the insitution. We make art. There is a lot to say that wouldn’t fit into this fold up, and it’s debabtable whether you are paying attention in any case- because blackness and womanness is absentness. 


The works speak to voids, tensions- histories- lingering between the materialities of the everyday, and the imaginative, fantastical futures where we might be free. Digital, print, and sculptural realisations occupy the gallery space- not as token additions to white washed, or in-vogue black man shows, and neither at the margins, but occupying the centre that has at times appeared so faraway. iQhiya is the support structure we wish we always had in learning spaces, the centres we always wished we could occupy, and the people we wished we could share lunch times with.


Our work speaks individually and collectively. It’s interesting to note that while all of us have been hard at work in our personal capacities, black women only seem to become relevant as a collective. Why do you all want to hear a collective voice anyway? Aren’t our individual voices qualified enough, academic enough, sensual enough, or contemporary enough?...


We give you iQhiya.



AVA Gallery

Cape Town, 2016

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