Panel Discussion

LF - Panel Discussion © Goethe-Institut Johannesburg

Danai Mapotsa, Sharlene Khan, Tumi Mampane, Noma Pakade and Gorata Chengeta discuss conversations that are present across audiences in South and Southern Africa – a conversation that avoids very presentist ‘inventing’ African feminisms as a habit, accounting for the various traditions, locations and registers we come from and read/ work through – while also using the frame of experience in a broadening or inclusive gesture.  

Danai Mupotsa currently works at the Department of African Literature, University of the Witwatersrand. Danai does research in Literary Theory, Cultural History and Cultural Anthropology. 

Sharlene Khan is a South African visual artist who works in multi-media installations and performances which focus on the socio-political realities of a post-apartheid society and the intersectionality of race-gender-class. She uses masquerading as a postcolonial strategy to interrogate her South African heritage, as well as the constructedness of identity via rote education, art discourses, historical narratives and popular culture. She has been a recipient of the Rockefeller Bellagio Arts residency (2009), the African Humanities Post-doctoral Fellowship (2017), the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences Award for Visual Arts (2018) and was runner-up winner in the Videokunst Preis Bremen video art award (2015). She has been nominated twice for the South African Women in the Arts award (Painting) and has received funding from the National Arts Council multiple times. She has published three books on her work: What I look like, What I feel like (2009), I Make Art (2017), When the moon waxes red... Negotiating Subjective Terrain as an 'Inside-Outsider', an 'Outside-Insider' (2019). She is co-convenor of the annual African Feminisms (Afems) Conference; and runs the Art on our Mind Research Project; the bi-weekly Black Feminist Killjoy Reading Group and the Decolonial AestheSis Creative Lab. She holds a PhD (Arts) from Goldsmiths, University of London and is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Fine Arts, Wits School of the Arts, Wits University, Johannesburg. 

Tumi Mampane is a Black feminist scholar, public speaker, the recipient of a Global Excellence and Stature scholarship, and a lecturer. Her MA dissertation in Communication Studies was titled “Pentecostal Charismatic Constructions of Femininity in Alexandra Township”. Her work is forthcoming in various edited collections (Routledge and L’Orientalle University Press) and journals. Her research interests include cultural and media studies, popular culture, African Pentecostalism, discourse analysis, narrative analysis, ethnography; and feminist theory. 

Gorata Chengeta is a PhD student, based in Johannesburg. Her current research focus is sexual violence. She also enjoys writing, thinking, and teaching about sexuality, feminism, and social justice. 

Nomancotsho Pakade has extensive working experience in community mobilisation and advocacy within the NGO sector. A committed, knowledgeable and capable researcher who has published in theoretical and experimental work on gender and sexuality, and education governance. She holds an MA in Research Psychology from the University of Witwatersrand. Currently, she is a Doctoral candidate at the Department of History and Heritage Studies, University of Pretoria. Noma is also a researcher at the Public Affairs Research Institution (PARI). 

Further Reading

For a deeper understanding of the broached topics and texts mentioned by the panelists, we have compiled a list of all related works below: