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South African artist embraces roots in solo show

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South African artist embraces roots in solo show

South African artist embraces roots in solo show

For 27-year-old artist Sethembile Msezane, exploring the role of ancestors and spirits in daily life is integral to her work.

Serena Chaudhry reports.


South African artist embraces roots in solo show

Paying tribute to the dreams and ancestors of southern Africa.

Sethembile Msezane is a South African sculptor and installation artist who has just opened her first solo exhibition in London.

Titled 'Speaking Through Walls', the show focuses on ancestral ties through a series of photographs taken in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

This photo shows the artist, along with her spiritual being, in a boat free from all connections to a particular country.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SETHEMBILE MSEZANE, ARTIST, SAYING: "This body of work kind of surfaces at a time where South Africa is having conversations around land reform and changing the constitution to allow for land reform.

And so in part this body of work speaks about this ushering in of the ancestral or spiritual realm speaking to issues of land.

Because the land is where the bones of our ancestors, our rituals and traditions are." Land is a hot topic in South Africa - where racial inequality persists more than 20 years after the end of apartheid.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has made land redistribution one of his priorities.

The themes of giving back and homecoming are ones Msezane stretches further in her work.

Like this performance art video, which mimics Zimbabwe's ancient soapstone bird sculptures.

The famous carvings were taken from the country and later returned.

All except one.

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