All things that live long (2018)
In 2018 I was invited for a residency at Inyuvesi Yaka Buyaphi in Klipspruit, South Africa. During my stay I hosted several events such as storytelling sessions with the students, invited a guest artist to perform, hosted bonfire session with the dean Buyaphi – only to name a few. In addition I worked on a series of photographs and poems in focusing on myths and stories surrounding abandoned structures. 'All things that live long' was the title of the closing event and presentation of my residency leading to a photographic exhibition and performance.
Photographs by Madoda Mkhobeni.
Buyaphi University is a socially engaged community project and an alternative educational space located in Klipspruit/Pimville, South Africa. Inyuvesi yaka Buyaphi explores the idea of an university situated in the local community. The structure of the university is open, flexible and inclusive. It allows a constant transformation of terms and conditions. The aim is to bring ideas together from near and far, introduce them to the community with the intent of opening up a dialogue. Buyaphi University is an institution focusing mainly - but not exclusively - on photography, art, history and science. Lecturers teach the students by volunteering their unique skills and time, and allowing their students to be an integral part of the process. Ultimately, at Buyaphi University everyone is a teacher and a student, thus the responses and contributions of the students is key. The University offers a platform to generate and share knowledge.
To date Inyuvesi yaka Buyaphi is in its second official year of operation. Notwithstanding, it has already enjoyed visits from a number of local and international art envoys. These include photographer Moussa John Kalapo from Mali, Gilles Furtwängler a poet from Switzerland, Shorty Skilz a rapper and graffiti artist from Orlando West, Soweto and more. They came to present their artistic practice to the students of the university and engaged them through poetry, storytelling, photography classes and more.
Patrons of the university are not limited to academic professionals but include passer-by, neighbors, local originals and eccentrics. These individuals make up the substance of the bonfires and tea sessions that are held frequently by the university. In addition to that, the lifeblood of the university is in its constant documentation so it's seldom that in any process that it undertakes that you would not find a photographer or two lurking in the background.
Buyaphi Mdledle and the children of Klipspruit are the mainstay of the university and have formed a chess club, football team, photographic interest group and frequently go on educational field trips.