Home Entertainment Isabel Katjavivi's Unearthing to be on exhibition in Johannesburg until 2020

Isabel Katjavivi’s Unearthing to be on exhibition in Johannesburg until 2020


The well-known Isabel Katjavivi of Namibia recently opened her exhibition “Unearthing” at the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg gallery.

The exhibition explores sites of trauma during the colonial era, and creates a response to commemorate the ancestors. Katjavivi uses the earth – exploring the soil as an entity that retains memory and stands witness. Katjavivi uses the invocation by James Baldwin, that “All your buried corpses now begin to speak” as a call for a reckoning with histories left in the land.


She uses the earth – exploring the soil as an entity that retains memory and stands witness. Unearthing is an extension to Katjavivi’s 2018 exhibition They Tried to Bury Us at the Namibian National Art Gallery, which created a scene of remembrance to those killed in the OvaHerero and Nama Genocides in Namibia.

Unearthing includes voices of the descendants, and connects the loss of land and the current realities caused by the unresolved resonances of the genocides. Katjavivi uses the invocation by James Baldwin, that “All your buried corpses now begin to speak” as a call for a reckoning with histories left in the land. Unearthing is the second exhibition in the series Izwe:Plant Praxis, curated by MadeYouLook. The exhibition will be accompanied by a discursive programme, details to follow.

“Unearthing” is part of the multi-part exhibition series IZWE: Plant praxis by Johannesburg curatorial duo MADEYOULOOK, and will run until February 2020.

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