1 Oct 2012-12 Apr 2013. This exhibition is curated by the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at UWC, a major research platform dedicated to the reconstitution of the study of the humanities in Africa.
It opens to the public a collection of artworks and prints from the turbulent 1980s, which have been largely ignored and neglected by mainstream cultural history. Most of the prints and linocuts were created during the anti-apartheid struggle in order to awake the people’s awareness against oppression and dehumanisation. The works aimed to invite visitors to re-imagine society in the face of unemployment, poverty, disease, unequal education, persistent racial divisions and new class polarisations. They also draw attention to the silence of cultural resistance in contemporary times.
In 2008 the CHR acquired an important and historic body of artworks: the Community Arts Project (CAP) collection, which consists of over four thousand paintings, prints, posters, sculptures and drawings. CAP emerged in 1977 and coincided with the rise of the Black Consciousness movement and of a new more determined urban youth against apartheid. The aim of CAP was to provide accommodation, facilities and arts training for marginalised artists and unemployed people coming from Cape Town’s oppressed communities. In the late 1990s CAP and its offspring, Media Works, amalgamated to form AMAC (Arts and Media Access Centre), providing training in the arts and media to the members of marginalised communities. AMAC’s closure in 2008 brought an end to a very important chapter in South African cultural history, characterised by the centrality of art in the humanisation of disadvantaged people.