n De Arte - Siyazama: Art, AIDS and education in South Africa, Kate Wells, Marsha Macdowell, C. Kurt Dewhurst and Marit Dewhurst (Eds.) : book review

Volume 2013, Issue 88
  • ISSN : 0004-3389
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focuses on an art project in KwaZulu-Natal, run under the auspices of the Durban University of Technology (DUT), but which has also involved input from key partner institutions - amongst them the Michigan State Art Museum. Siyazama (isiZulu for 'we are trying') was initiated by Kate Wells in the late 1990s, in the department of Graphic Design at the ML Sultan Technikon (MLST) in Durban (later absorbed into DUT). Wells had been working with craftspeople in the Msinga region, and Siyazama was an endeavour to couple the development of works with enabling discourse and education about HIV/AIDS. In a context where women are not only in need of craft initiatives to enable them to earn a living, but where cultural norms result in their being unable to speak about sexuality with their partners, and where HIV-positive people are often stigmatised, the project has played an enormously valuable role in bringing together economic and health concerns.

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