‘Promises and Lies: The ANC in Exile’ was recently exhibited at the Michaelis Gallery at UCT’s Hiddingh Campus. The exhibition was conceptualized and curated by UCT academic and curator Dr Siona O’Connell, Director of the CCA, and exhibits, for the first time, images from award-winning reportage photographer, Laurie Sparham. The photographs were taken in Tanzania and Zambia around 1989/90.
Dr Siona O’Connell discusses Promises and Lies: The ANC in Exile on the Expresso Morning Show. Dr O’Connell speaks of why she chose such a provocative title for the exhibition; her choice to have this exhibition now in an election year and how she believes change in the ANC is necessary.
On Thursday, 12 May, Dr Siona O’Connell’s curated exhibition of Laurie Sparham’s photographs of the ANC in exile (1989-1990, a turning point in South African history) opened at the Michaelis Galleries. This exhibition marks the first viewing of these images by award-winning reportage photographer, Laurie Sparham. O’Connell uses these photographs to open a set of questions on contemporary South Africa against the backdrop of the Freedom Charter to offer an opportunity to think about the growing chasm between the promise of freedom then and the reality of a contemporary moment marked by crisis and failure.
Promises and Lies: The ANC in Exile, a photographic exhibition curated by Dr Siona O'Connell, opens tomorrow. The CCA, in preparation for this, sat down with Jade Nair who managed the research, logistics and assisted in the curation of this exhibition and wider project pertaining to this photographic archive.
I HAVE written many art reviews, but never have I thought to reflect upon what an “exhibition” means. My decision to do so now stems from a visit to the Michaelis Gallery the other day, where a collection of photographs and a short film, entitled Promises and Lies, is on display.