South Block, Glasgow, United Kingdom
16 Feb 2015 - 27 Mar 2015


Image: Khanyisile Mbongwa| Photography: Khulekani Zondi

The Power of ZA is a forum exploring the power of creativity across Film / Visual art / The Performing Arts / Architecture & City Making, captured and expressed on screen; in the process bridging divides and transforming culture in South Africa in its 20th year of democracy.

In its 20th year of democracy, South Africa is brimming with innovation in the arts, producing a creative scene that is transforming society through storytelling. Few countries have had to heal divides as deep as the ones created under apartheid, but through creativity and innovation, South Africans are bridging the divides and transforming lives. And a new generation is emerging. Distanced from the political struggle of apartheid but living with the legacy of that time, a new generation of South Africans are using their ideas and energy to forge new identities and imagine new futures.

Through documenting their creative ideas and innovations on film, they create the potential to export their stories globally. Irreverent of mainstream Western narratives they are capturing contemporary culture in South Africa whilst imagining new African futures.

In May 2014, Dele Adeyemo (Pidgin Perfect) and Natalia Palombo travelled to South Africa to produce a festival of film, storytelling and design. Through a programme of film screenings, workshops and public discussions, they engaged with over 25 creative practitioners working in film, the performing arts, visual art and architecture as well as city-making. Throughout the process, they considered the role that film and design-thinking has within the landscape of interdisciplinary practice in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Opening on Friday 13 February, the exhibition documents these events and interviews; relaying a plethora of innovative ideas captured during the research trip. With the preview of the exhibition, an online forum will be launched.

Those who are not able to attend the exhibition will be able to view all videos online at www.thepowerofza.com from Fri 13th Feb.

During the exhibition, there will be a screening of a small selection of contemporary South African features and documentaries at the gallery. For details on films and booking please visit the website: www.nataliapalombo.co.uk/thepowerof_exhibition.

The Power of ZA was an official World Design Capital 2014 project conceived by the creative studio Pidgin Perfect and African arts producer Natalia Palombo in collaboration with the British Council’s Connect ZA project.




Visual Art

Lavendhri Arumugam (Director, Ithuba Arts) |  Khanyisile Mbongwa (Artist) |    Moeketsi Moticoe (Photographer) |  Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi (Artist) |  Neo Trinity Rakgajane (Artist/Designer) |  Katleho Shoro (African Arts Institute, Projects Manager)


Performing Arts

Skomline (isiPantsula dance crew) (Dancers) | Mbuso Kgarebe (Dancer, Actor) | Duane Lawrence (Dancer) | Khanyisile Mbongwa (Artist) | Monwabisi Sobitshi (Performer)


Architecture & City Making

Rashiq Fataar (Future Cape Town, Founder) |  Kelo Kubu (TEDxSoweto, Convenor) |  Mokena Makeka (Makeka Design Lab, Principal) |  Mpho Matsipa (Studio X Johannesburg, Director) |  Lyall Sprong (Thingking, Director) |  Tau Tavengwa (CityScapes, Editor) |  Olamide Udoma (Future Lagos, Urban Activist)



Karien Cherry (Four Corners, Production Team) | Russell Grant (Bioscope, Founder) | Yazeed Kamaldien (Filmmaker) | Emma Kaye (Bozza Mobi, Founder) | Ludi Krauss (The Labia, Owner) | Mawande Manez Sobethwa (World Film Collective, Producer)





Opening: Friday 13 February,  6pm – 8pm  

South African Film Series (FREE but ticketed):

Thursday 19 February 2015 | 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Future Sound of Mzansi (Mathambo/Rasethaba, South Africa, 2014)

Directed by performance artist Spoek Mathambo and filmmaker Lebogang Rasethaba, this documentary aims to explore, express and interrogate South Africa’s cultural landscape through the vehicle of electronic music. The film engages with a potent range of pioneers sculpting the sounds of things to come. We swim in the sounds of deep house, glitch hop, sghubu sapitori, durban qhum, dubstep and shangaan electro. In a country still steeped in poverty, crime and injustice, young South Africans party like their lives depend on it. The groove is thick and infectious and the future looks blindingly beautiful.

Thursday 12 March 2015 | 6.30pm – 8.30pm:
Hear ME Move (Scottnes Smith, South Africa, 2014)

The endearing and highly entertaining Hear Me Move tells the story of Muzi, the son of an amazing pantsula dancer, who embarks on a journey of self-discovery in order to learn the truth about his father’s death and come to terms with his own identity. But will Muzi embrace his destiny and become the man he is meant to be? Hear Me Move is an exciting new South African feature film, creating a local challenge to a genre that includes such well- loved films as Fame and Step Up.

Thursday 26 March 2015 | 6.30pm – 8.30pm:
Four Corners (Ian Gabriel, South Africa, 2014)

Cape Town today – home to South Africa’s toughest maximum security prison – Pollsmoor. When Farakhan, a general in one of the century old Numbers Gangs, is released after 13 years, he wants a quiet life and a ‘river of peace’. But he finds himself in a world more violent than when he left it. Now ruthless street gangs control the ghetto streets, crack and guns are sold openly, and young boys are disappearing, victims of a serial killer. In this turbulent world, Farakhan seeks to make contact with his son, whom he has never known. Four Corners is a high-octane, multi-thread, coming-of-age crime drama set in a unique and volatile South African subculture. At times raw and violent, at times touching and true, the four lives of the characters Farakhan, Leila, Tito and Gasant converge around the boy Ricardo, weaving universal themes of love, loss, kinship, betrayal and redemption.



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