This screening and conversation will look at the Spring Queen Documentary which was produced by Dr Siona O’Connell. Set against a fashion pageant, the documentary considers questions of labour, women and freedom after apartheid.
Dr Siona O’Connell was born in Cape Town and completed her secondary schooling in Mbabane, Swaziland. She was educated at the University of Cape Town where she studied fine art, receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts (2006), Master of Arts in African Studies (2008) and Doctor of Philosophy (2012). She was a Trilateral Reconnections Project Fellow at Brown University in the US and is a BIARI (Brown International Advanced Research Institutes) alumnus.
O’Connell convenes and lectures in Visual and Art History at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She has curated several exhibitions and uses the exhibition to rethink knowledge production in and of Africa. Her most recent achievement is the production of a 44-minute documentary fi lm on the local clothing and textile industry which made its debut on the Encounters Film Festival in June 2014. In addition, she has edited a book on poetry and photographs of South African poet James Matthews that includes translations into Xhosa and Afrikaans.
O’Connell is committed to questions of restorative justice and freedom in post-colonial and post-apartheid South Africa, looking to creative endeavours to think about di cult questions of belonging, violence and redress. Her work around archives and curation seeks to shift frames from aesthetics to restorative justice, to open up questions around representation, freedom, trauma and memory in the aftermath of oppression.