The Hands That Feed You: Ubucwebe

The Hands That Feed You © thirdspace

Kwa Ndonga ziyaduma

thirdspace is interested in mapping global dependency systems and the implications for Africa. The roving exhibition titled, The Hands That Feed You, situates iGoli (Johannesburg) as a place of imagination, contestation and escape – from old forms to new forms of trade and community making. 

The city of Johannesburg is amongst the important economic hubs on the African continent, characterised by a multi-layered economy and an extremely sophisticated non-formal sector. Upon deeper investigation, the fault lines of the so-called formal and non-formal trade reveal a series of tensions between these two forms of trade. 

Johannesburg, since its inception, is built on extractive capitalism and a close reading of the city today which reveals familiar and emergent flows of goods, services and capital. It is these emergent flows that are of particular interest to thirdspace as they disrupt an imposed economic framework that works to isolate, if not exoticise, non-formal trade. 

This digital exhibition places a community of thinkers, economists, cultural workers and theorists in conversation with these themes. The work featured will occupy the Goethe-Institut website and social media platforms. The digital iteration will shortly be followed by an outdoor installation on the Goethe-Institut premises in Johannesburg, in February 2021. 

The title, The Hands That Feed You - Ubucwebe, makes use of a vocabulary that defines Johannesburg as the place of gold or a place of dreams. This is also, however, a place of illusion as the popular phrase warns, not all that glitters is gold. 
The exhibition was conceived by thirdspace, a collaborative effort consisting of Joao Roxo (Maputo) and Russel Hlongwane (Durban), in consultation with Mohau Memeza of Fanakalo Tours

Future Nostalgia © The Hands That Feed You

Future Nostalgia

To close out our digital exhibition ‘The Hands That Feed You: Ubucwebe’, we have two audio mixes from Future Nostalgia to share with you. 

Mohau Memeza Essay Header © The Hands That Feed You

Mohau Memeza: Amasekeni Asegoli

Johannesburg, a place filled with hope and despair. It is a city founded on ‘Gold’ – an industry which, according to CW de Kiewiet, “feared neither locusts nor cattle disease, neither drought nor summer floods”. 

Distin of Distin © The Hands That Feed You

The Distin of Distin

The question lingers: what exactly is it, this thing? And despite being transmutation of the English phrase (this thing), distin is not “this thing”.

Gogo Zaire - Flame Lily © The Hands That Feed You

Gogo Zaire - Flame Lily

They thought Gogo Zaire had been abducted by the guerrillas or the colonial regime forces. One day they woke up and she was gone.

Chad Cordeiro © Chad Cordeiro

The Unseen Empire

Mycorrhizal networks are underground entanglements of elongated, root-like structures that form part of particular fungi.

Zayaan Kaan - Basic Basket of Food 2300 x 1000 © The Hands That Feed You

Basic Basket of Food

Wheat grows golden in the sun. Maize, tall and yellow – all kinds of sun yellow, deep green leaves so broad and thick. Sugar cane juice drips brown and sticky down my chin.

Joshua Essay Web Header © The Hands That Feed You

To remember is to innovate

I always thought that science and technology were things that came from the West.

To speculate is to remember © The Hands That Feed You

To speculate is to remember

Let us begin from abstraction. Let us hide all the complex processes. 

A glimpse into the exhibition "The Hand That Feeds You" © JoaoRoxo

By Way of Introduction, thirdspace

We cite two projects that attempt to capture our practice.

  • The Hands That Feed You, gallery 1 © The Hands That Feed You
  • The Hands That Feed You, gallery 2 © The Hands That Feed You
  • The Hands That Feed You, gallery 3 © The Hands That Feed You