On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the photographic programme Of Soul and Joy conducted by Rubis Mécénat in the township of Thokoza, south-east of Johannesburg in South Africa, the endowment fund is inviting two South African photographers involved in the project, Jabulani Dhlamini and Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo, to present in France a new photographic work that has been elaborated in close collaboration on the theme of memory.
As part of the PhotoSaintGermain festival and with curator Valérie Fougeirol, the two photographers, who met as mentor and student, have decided to bring their perspectives together at the point where personal memory and trauma intersect. Jabulani went back to the countryside of his childhood, and to Warden in particular, a landscape which is imbued with the emotional words of generations of transmitters of history. For his part, Thembinkosi returned to the family tavern where memories of violence are transformed into ghosts embedded in the walls and in objects-presences replayed in apparitions which are captured, scratched and burned.
The exhibition *iHubo - Whispers with its two complementary facets, is built around memories which resurface – past and present, in colour and in black and white – the traces of personal stories which intersect and intermingle, so that it can exist in the Present.
* Zulu term meaning ’hymn‘, a process of archiving in form of a song, with the specific intent of preserving history. It was formerly used to safeguard family histories, heritage, tradition and as a form of prayer.
Since 2011, Rubis Mécénat, the Rubis Group’s endowment fund, has been promoting artistic creation throughout the countries where the Group operates. The fund develops long-term social art initiatives by establishing educational artistic programmes based on the visual arts and design for young adults from disadvantaged communities in some countries of the Group*. At the same time, it supports artists in France and abroad by commissioning works for specific sites as well as for the Group’s industrial sites, in collaboration with cultural institutions. For each commission, Rubis Mécénat helps to produce the artwork and accompanies the artist throughout the creative process. The fund also supports artists in a longer term by purchasing art works, editing publications and producing artists videos.