Traditional Arts, Education,
and AIDS in South Africa
here to view the online version of the exhibit
Throughout the world art has long been used as a tool for
cultural, social, and economic change. In South Africa many
educators and activists used performing and visual arts in
the successful anti-apartheid movement. Now arts are being
used there to educate individuals about the realities of the
HIV/AIDS epidemic. This exhibition explores how traditional
knowledge and skills are used to address contemporary issues
in South Africa. It showcases the Siyazama (Zulu for "we are
trying") Project, an arts education project based in KwaZulu
Natal which uses traditional crafts to raise awareness about
As of 2005, 20 million people worldwide have died from AIDS
and 39 million people are living with AIDS. In Africa alone,
25 million people are infected and there are 14 million orphans.
With 5 million new HIV infections a year, AIDS is an epidemic
of disastrous proportions. Over 100 pieces in this exhibit-including
indigenous traditional art forms such as beadwork, dollmaking,
basketry and wirework-reveal how South African artists are
using their work to educate others as well as to cope with
the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS in their own lives and
This exhibition has been displayed at the Michigan State
University Museum, East Lansing, MI; The African American
Performing Arts Center, Albuquerque, NM; Institute for Community Research, Hartford, CT; and the Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.
fee (16-week period):
|| $10,000, plus shipping
||Number of pieces:
||Running feet required:
|| approx. 850 square feet, including 200 linear feet of wall space
||Lockable, limited access display area; provisions to prevent the public from touching objects; object handling by museum professionals; temperature and light controls; fire protection according to local ordinances
||Additional materials available:
|| Lectures; press materials
This traveling exhibition is a Michigan State University Museum, Michigan Traditional Arts Program activity supported by the Andrew J. Mellon Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
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PICTURED: Doll, Lobolile Ximba (Zulu), 2003, made in Muden, Msinga region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Cloth and beads. 48" x 13" x 10". Photo by Pearl Yee Wong.
Installation at Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, MI. Photos by Pearl Yee Wong.