Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vansa project(2010 Reasons to live in a small town)"Up and Down" workshop at Bekkeersdal (Gauteng) FAZE A: workshop ends outdoor

Up and Down aims to create an experience of participation somewhere between sport and artistic site-specific interventions. Bandoma and Mbikayi aim to build two soccer pitches, one in Gauteng and one in the Western Cape. Playing with the metaphor of the ‘level playing field’, they will be traditional soccer fields with a difference: one will be built on a hill and the other in a valley with the fields conforming to the shape of the landscape. The project intends to foster dialogue between foreign nationals living in the town and local residents through soccer matches on these pitches.

• The workshop was effectively filmed and well documented. And in addition, names and details of different participants can be found in the workshop lists. Therefore we ended the workshop outdoor to localize a relevant site. All participants showed an enthusiastic sense of exchange and involvement in the project. Although questions were asked about the realization of this particular concept, we sensed a determination of participants to be involved in the final project
Community leaders of Bekkeersdal were very supportive through the workshop and seemed very much keen to see the project happen. And therefore a follow up with the community assistance to confirm with the site picked. We drafted a documentation to be joined with Faze B

FAZE A continuing

The first part of the research took place in Bekkeersdal, a suburb at 45 kilometer more or less from Johannesburg. The three first days were scheduled to find community leaders, discuss with them about the concept in order to facilitate the workshop. Thus the exchange went on from various responsibilities of the place and gave us a broad understanding of the area.

-The workshop:
• The third day we succeed with the help of community leaders to gather a fair amount of youth from the near surrounding to attend the workshop. Facilitators (Maurice Mbikayi and Steve Bandoma ) along with community leaders help to introduce the concept and facilitate the workshop. The work plan, following by a precise explanation of concepts (VANSA’s concept and goal “UP” and “DOWN”) and understanding of the involvement to our participants: How an individual can become involved in the actual project when it will be founded and realized. And that will supported with a major support of VANSA who initiated and launch the call.

"Upand Down" Bekkeersdal, Gauteng (Down concept)

1. Introduction:

The research project initiated was done in two weeks (From 1st to 7th November in Bekkeersdal/Gauteng and from15th to 21st November in Masipumelele/Western Cape) with the participation of members of communities, the age group varied between 19 and 35 year old, all youth from the near environment, black predominantly. And the research project overview was much positive compared to the enthusiasm and commitment of each participant and facilitators.
the workshop was realized with an amount of at least 22 participants on each side.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Vansa project: 2010 Reason to live in a small Town:"Up and Down" Faze B at Masiphumelele, Western Cape: Final step - indoor and outdoor

" Up and Down" -Faze B at Masipumelele: In the Conference Hall-Masi Library

UP and Down is one of the diverse projects supported and initiated by the Visual Art Network in South Africa (VANSA). UP and DOWN is runned by Steve Bandoma and Myself(Maurice Mbikayi)It's actually still in its research step as we didn't yet get all funding required for its realisation.However for the research funding we got, we runned two different workshops one in Bekkeersdal-Gauteng(Down)and another one in Masipumelele-Western Cape(DOWN).
In May 2010, VANSA put out a call for proposals for the project "Two Thousand reason to live in a small Town" and Ten Reasons to Live in a Small Town, with a deadline for submissions in August. A series of project briefing and proposal writing workshops were held across the during the course of June and July. Please visit
to find out more about the brief for the project.

A large number of exceptional proposals were received, and we would like to thank all who engaged with the project concept. A total of seven projects were finally chosen by the curatorial team VANSA convened for the project, comprised of Nontobeko Ntombela, Rat Western, Rike Sitas, Dorothee Kreutzfeldt and Joseph Gaylard. VANSA has also made available smaller project development commissions against four proposals that were felt to show substantial potential.

In October 2010, we convened a weekend workshop involving all of the commissioned artists and the curatorial team, aimed at sharing ideas, building a ‘community of practice’ and putting in place practical plans for the realisation of projects. Kindly hosted by the Nirox Foundation, the weekend was a great success, opening up lots of new possibilities and ideas for all involved.

For ongoing updates, insights and images related to the project posted by the artists and curators, visit:

AMANI Art Festival 2010 at lookout Hill-Khayelitsha

Directed by Suzy Bell(writer,poet and columnist) the festival was co-organized and curated by a number of trusted curators and art practitioners last November 2010. The ideal was to encourage divers exchanges. And in addition to engage also the suburb, renegociate the townships space very much neglected from art world, instead of always doing events and exhibitions in developed Cities, the AMANI Festival also looked at possibilities of producing shows in rural places like Khayelitsha, in order to support integration. Lookout hill venue hosted Art exhibition, hip hop music,workshops,poetry, Fashion show.

This installation brings to light a multiculturalism viewpoint between Migrants people from around Africa. It is a metaphoric and conceptual artwork which focuses on the migratory history of people and their experience from place to place. How individuals in contexts of place origin and race, have to redefine his identity. Looking back to the past and the future sees concept of birthplace and new place differently(globalization in this instance). Fleets paper boats in this installation are the instability of a society to transform one future,white bandage symbolizing the fragility of a human being to be destroyed and also the capacity to heal himself and be resourceful.The ephemeral attitudes of African societies confront an inherent reality, the question of discrimination, tribalism and gender discrimination have to be discussed and that also face major interests. However in a global viewpoint, prospects of different future has to be considered, in terms of looking at concepts and dynamics of globalism and migration.Therefore to dialectically discuss the matters of African contemporary world as a Pan-Africa interest.

Visual Art Workshop @ Bien Donnée Farm/Paarl-Day three: Way forward

All participants showed a very positive attitude toward the project and were willing to continue if more opportunities were offered in terms economic support(with award offered by the project) and advices to sustain themselves, especially for those who are keen to pursue an artist career, and for those who are willing to pursue the idea as a hobby are also willing to connect more with the project and would like to see it further.
Each participant was granted of a certificate of participation and his/her work was selected and displayed

Day three: Finishing touch and feedback

The final day was perceived with more finishing touches and each day participants made their comment and feedback about the process of the project, and at the final day they were willing to do a summary of the all overview of the workshop and bring about their emotional response, intellectual and artistic understanding of “the project concept”

Day two: Youth skill development and financial awareness

On the second day the output and ideas started to be shaped onto canvases and participants’ creativity was revealed. Although few participants lacked of some basics however the determination to produce a final work was obvious and with a bit of assistance from myself the made it to the final day.
The workshop was not only focus on painting, but also on cultural exchanges as participants came from different backgrounds and cultures. However the needs for exchange was necessary. And we used art as a bridge builder.

"Strokes of Genius project": Day one: Facilitation of Three days workshop at Bien Donnée Manor Farm/ Simondium-Paarl

The workshop was realized with an amount of fifteen (15) participants all youth from the paarl suburb, (we first started with twelve and two joined us later), myself (Maurice H. Mbikayi) and a member of the Department (Ayanda Tobi) who introduced the project along with me.
The first day workshop was done primarily with a briefing of the project, the work plan, following by the explanation of the concept and understanding of the concept planed: How an Artist can become successful on his own right and economically sustain himself. And thus with a major support the Departments-Shoprite & Checkers who initiated the project
All participants showed an enthusiastic sense of exchange and involvement in the project. The last part of the first day was executed by the actual painting process starting by one hour sketch execution or brainstorming.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Visual Art Workshop at Bien Donnée Manor Farm/Simondium-Paarl: Day one-Introduction of the concept and work plan

Facilitated by the“Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport & the Department of trade and Industry"

The project initiated was done in three days (28th Sept-30th sept) with the participation of fifteen members, from diverse background and race, between 19 and 25 year old, all youth from the near environment. And the project overview was much positive compared to the enthusiasm and commitment of each participant.