Archive: Issue No. 114, February 2007

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Look at Me

Art for Humanity

Judy Woodbourne and Makhosazana Xaba
billboard flighted in Messina, Limpopo,
featuring an extract from the poem For our children
by Xaba, translated into Tshivenda, with
Woodbourne's An angel of mercy

Berni Searle

Berni Searle
Untitled 2006
digital print

Avitha Sooful

Avitha Sooful
Children should be seen and heard 2006
woodcut and digital print
420 x 594mm

Look at me: Women Artists and Poets Advocate Children's Rights book launch
by Carol Brown

look at me catalogues Art for Humanity's Women for Children project which entailed a collaboration between 50 prominent women artists and poets, 46 of whom are South African, on the issue of children's rights and welfare.

The Women for Children campaign is hosted by Durban-based Art for Humanity. The book depicts the collaborative projects and includes a look at the role of art in advocacy and social development in South Africa. 'Although there are many historical examples of art playing a role in advancing humanity... this role of art in society has largely been subverted by commercialism', says Art for Humanity.

Some of the artists participating include Ernestine White, Berni Searle, Diane Victor, Angela Buckland, Nomusa Makhubu and Judith Mason and poets include Lindiwe Nkutha, Liesl Jobson, Malika Ndlovu and Gabeba Baderoon and Finuala Dowling among others.

The art and poetry collaborations are the focal part of the book and they have collectively rendered the plight of our children more visible - the poetry deepening the visual messages that emanate from the art. The work also highlights the voice of women as the mothers and primary caregivers of our nation. Moreover, the aesthetic quality of the art and poetry adds inspirational value to the collection, thereby ensuring its impact on present and future generations.

To inform and inspire society, extracts from the poetry have been translated into South Africa's 11 official languages with the intention of allowing all South Africans to identify with the messages and claim these as their cultural heritage.

The book also includes an intimate look at the role of art in advocacy and social development in South Africa. Although art advocacy has been practised as a form of therapy and at celebrations such as concerts and festivals, art-based advocacy like the Women for Children project focused on sustainable development, hardly exists. Art for Humanity has published this book with the objective that the Women for Children project will inspire South Africans to take moral ownership of the suffering of our children and to actively pursue the protection of their rights and welfare.

The book will be launched at 6pm, February 15 at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermarizburg.

To purchase a copy of the book please contact Art for Humanity:
Tel: (031) 203 6610