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Join Iziko Museums of South Africa in commemorating and celebrating Human Rights Day For media images and[…]

Territories Between Us

Territories between us, and the sites at which we meet.

Territories Between Us foregrounds embodied ways of knowing, delving into various subjectivities to point to the many ways our existences are territorialised by structures – both visible and invisible. By engaging works that oscillate between disciplines, modes of working, or tether on the borders of these territories, the exhibition attempts to inch away from the ‘counterstance’ to explore a restored existence.

In the exhibition, works by a number of contemporary artists are used as a point of departure to interrogate ideas of place and the complexities of belonging, while also asking questions relating to current areas of thought in relation to contemporary art collections. Thinking about how collections negotiate questions of representation, access and visibility, the exhibition seeks to invite visitors to ask challenging questions of the permanent collection while simultaneously using it as a tool to think through various contemporary concerns.

The exhibition draws works from the collection in conversation with artistic intervention and works from outside the collection. 


  • Bronwyn Katz
  • Donna Kukama
  • Helena Uambembe
  • Moshekwa Langa
  • Nyakallo Maleke
  • Senzeni Marasela
  • Simnikiwe Buhlungu
  • Teresa Firmino
  • Zyma Amien

Helena Uambembe – Those that we left behind (performance)

Video Credit: Dean Saville Media.

As a participating artist in the exhibition Territories Between Us, currently on view at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Uambembe conceptualised a performance to accompany her installation: ‘Those that we left behind’ (2021). Set within the installation made up of soil and an aluminium fence, this performance presents further interrogations of the work, reflecting on the artist’s recent trip to Angola, where she visited Luanda and Cunene Province. Through the performance, Uambembe explores what is evoked by the process of moving through lands, borders and territories, as well as notions of home. Uambembe invokes the various stories she has encountered throughout her practice from women who recount memories of crossing borders, mostly at night, and questions what trails are left behind and the trails these movements inscribe on the body. 

Soil, a material present in her practice and in this particular work, symbolises notions of burial and traces. In this performance, the incorporation of bright river sand connects to arid desert terrain, and the healing and spiritual properties of the ocean are juxtaposed with the rich, dark soil more reminiscent of tropical terrain. 

Tšhegofatšo Mabaso 
Tel: +27 (0)21 467 7234

Read more about the exhibition 

Exhibition Type:
Past Exhibition
Media Enquiries:

Zikhona Jafta
Tel: +27(0)214813862
Fax: +27(0)214619620
Switchboard: +27(0)214813800

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