Durant Sihlali: Art and Apartheid

Posted: 26/03/2019 by vequinox in Literature


image_miniOn the 5th of March 1935, the South African artist Durant Sihlali was born in Germiston, South Africa. He was “one of the few living South African artists whose career coincided with the entrenchment of formal apartheid (c. 1948), the formation of the “white” Republic of South Africa in 1962, the long years of apartheid repression (c. 1961-1990), and the remarkable achievement of democracy in 1994.” (Colin Richards and Sandra Klopper, The Double Agent: Humanism, History, and Allegory in the Art of Durant Sihlali (1939-2004)). Therefore, his art can be treated as a form of highly individual commentary on the conditions of black South African life under the terrifying regime.

Born in the industrial area southeast of Johannesburg, known for the harsh living conditions for black people, he was sent at the age of five to live with his grandparents in Cala – the rural Eastern Cape. It is…

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