Open Forum Exhibition: Phefumla! (Breathe!)
Open Forum exhibition, Phefumla! (Breathe!) is a group exhibition by South African artists and student activists, is currently running at the Goethe-Institut. Open Forum was formed in response to student activism at Stellenbosch and on campuses throughout South Africa that cumulated in the #FeesMustFall movement in 2015 and 2016. It became a space to reflect on discourses on decolonisation and institutional transformation at Stellenbosch University and beyond.
The 2015-2016 student movement raised concerns about the urgent need to make universities genuinely ‘public’ institutions, accessible to all students across lines of race and class. They have also broadened the scope of transformation from a concern primarily with the demographic characteristics of student bodies and staff to begin to take on larger questions about how students from different backgrounds (intersecting with categories of race, class, gender, disability and sexuality) experience the university as both a place of opportunity and of friction.
In October 2016, Open Forum ran its first residency programme for artists and students that were invited to participate through an open call and selection process. The 2016 residency generated artwork that includes performance art, video, photography, documentary, curated text, sculpture and sound installation. This work has been curated into the travelling exhibition, Phefumla! (Breathe) supported by the Goethe-Institut and Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education. The exhibition education programme includes a dialogue with student activists and Open Forum artists from Cape Town and Johannesburg. Phefumla! (Breathe!) is co-curated by Greer Valley in collaboration with the Open Forum residency participants.
The exhibition runs until August 11, 2017.
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