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GITHAN COOPOO

Githan Coopoo, 1994, is a self-taught Jewellery Designer and Sculptor from Cape Town working exclusively with clay as their base medium. Originally focused on volume, opulence and fragility Coopoo’s  clay jewellery has shown at Fashion Weeks internationally, including New York, Paris, Nigeria and Russia. Expanding upon his practice, the past two years saw the production of larger scale works aligned with the artist’s own experiences and thoughts about queer love and sex – false ceramics. These works have predominantly taken the form of vases, luxury handbags and tiles that communicate simple but pointed messages.

Photo credit: Haneem Christian

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JOHN GREYSON

John Greyson is video/film artist and pioneer of the new queer cinema. Since 1984, his many hybrid features, shorts and transmedia works have explored such queer activist issues as police violence, prison, AIDS activism, solidarity, homo-nationalism and apartheid (both South African and Israeli). These include International Dawn Chorus Day (2021), Mercurial (2018), Gazonto (2016), Murder in Passing (2013), Fig Trees (2009), Lilies (1996), Zero Patience (1993), The Making of Monsters (1991) and Urinal (1989). His videos/films have won 4 Teddy’s, 5 Canadian Screen Awards (Genies), over 30 Best Film Prizes at international festivals such as Locarno, Berlin, TIFF, London and San Francisco, and are the subject of the critical anthology The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson (Longfellow/McKenzie/Waugh, 2013). He teaches in York University's Cinema & Media Arts department, was a member of the Blah Blah Blah and Olive Project media collectives, co-edited Queer Looks: Perspectives on Lesbian & Gay Film & Video (1993), co-produced the cable series Toronto Living with AIDS (1991) and is currently producing the AIDS activist media project Viral Interventions (2021-24).

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FELA GUCCI

Fela Gucci born Thato Ramaisa is a South African musician, photographer, performance artist, writer and archival music curator whose work draws inspiration from their upbringing in the eastern township of Johannesburg called Katlehong where they spent their formative years exposed to various subcultures and movements such as Kwaito, Hip Hop, Punk, Jazz, House, Bacardi, Amabujwa and Izikhothane all while navigating the experience of a Christian rooted home. Their work is a recollection and celebration of childhood, black collective and ancestral memory while looking at the present and future to create, explore, question and reclaim the experience of a black, African global diaspora indigenous queer body of the Basotho people. Fela is a graduate of the Market Photography Workshop founded by South African photography veteran David Goldblatt. Their visual work has been featured on BLACK FUTURES edited by curators Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham, The New York Times, UNLABELLED magazine founded by writer Phendulwa Kuta and recently formed part of the “Feminism Ya Mang, Feminism Yethu, Feminism Yani” group exhibition curated by Motlatsi Khosi, Masechaba Moloi and Samantha Modesiyane at Goethe-Institut South Africa. Their archival music curatorial work has been featured on the United Kingdom’s prominent music platforms NTS Radio, Noods Radio and the Netherlands based label Wokoundou Music. While still in the process of creating various ongoing bodies of work through their chosen mediums.

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NOBUNYE LEVIN

Nobunye Levin is a filmmaker, scholar, and lecturer. She completed a practice-based PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Her PhD research is an exploration of feminist love praxis that is imagined in the different “enunciations” that take place in politically sensuous spaces formed through the film and written work, which spill over into each other to create a relational film and written world.
Nobunye’s films have been screened at film festivals. She has presented both her film work and papers at various conferences and has contributed to publications such as Gaze Regimes: Film and Feminisms in Africa (Mistry and Schuhmann, 2015).
Nobunye’s filmmaking practice and research is often concerned with the politics of aesthetics and is informed by the epistemic, poetic and political possibilities of cinematic experimentation. She is preoccupied with feeling and thinking in, and through, film practice to produce affective cinematic experiences. Nobunye is a postdoctoral research fellow in decolonising screen worlds in the Screen Worlds: Decolonising Film and Screen Studies (2019-2024) project.

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KAMA LA MACKEREL

Named after the god of love, Kama La Mackerel is a multilingual writer, visual artist, performer, translator and educator who believes in love, compassion and justice. Their work ventures beyond the borders of disciplinarity and creates hybrid spaces from which to enunciate decolonial and queer vocabularies. Wholeheartedly invested in ocean narratives, island sovereignty, transgender poetics and ancestral healing, their body of work challenges colonial notions of time and space as these relate to history, power, language, subject formation and the body.

Of Indo-African origins, Kama is from Mauritius, has lived in India, and settled in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal about a decade ago. ZOM-FAM their poetry collection (Metonymy Press) was named a CBC Best Poetry Book and a Globe and Mail Best Debut. World Literature Today called ZOM-FAM "a milestone in Mauritian literature." In 2021, they were awarded the Canada Council for the Arts Joseph S. Stauffer Prize for emerging and mid-career artists in Visual Arts. Kama has lectured, performed and exhibited their work in museums, galleries, theaters and universities across the world including the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, Yale University, the Schwules Museum in Berlin and the Point of Order Gallery in Johannesburg. 

lamackerel.net // @KamaLaMackerel

Photo credit: Noire Mouliom

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DESIRE MAREA

Desire Marea is a singer, multi-disciplinay artist and traditional healer from Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. He is one of the founding members of South African art movement FAKA, and the founder and Creative Director of his label Izimakade Records through which he released his debut album “Desire” in 2020. After signing with Mute Records, the critically-acclaimed debut was re-issued globally, with a limited edition release in vinyl. Desire seeks to create work that lives on the periphery of life and death, where spirit meets flesh, exploring spiritual perceptions of the carnal experience whilst employing the creative sensory tools as a healing modality.

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BONGANI NDODANA-BREEN

Bongani Ndodana-Breen has written a wide range of music encompassing symphonic work and opera. According to The New York Times his “delicately made music – airy, spacious, terribly complex but never convoluted – has a lot to teach the Western wizards of metric modulation and layered rhythms about grace and balance.”  He has received commissions from Wigmore Hall, Vancouver Recital Society, Madam Walker Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Luminato Festival and Haydn Festival. He is the composer of Winnie, The Opera based on the life of Winnie Mandela and Harmonia Ubuntu commissioned for and performed by the Minnesota Orchestra. Dr. Ndodana-Breen holds a PhD in Composition from Rhodes University. He was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 1998 and was one of the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans of 2011.


Video link –> CNN AFRICAN VOICES PROFILE 

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ABDI OSMAN

Abdi Osman is a Somali-Canadian multidisciplinary artist whose work focuses on questions of black masculinity as it intersects with Muslim and queer identities. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions, across Canada and internationally such as at the Berlin Berlinale, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, the Gardiner Museum, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Thames Art Gallery, The National Museum of Kenya (Kenya), Goethe Institute, Johannesburg (South Africa) and Iwalewahaus The Centre for African Contemporary Art and Culture (Germany). His work has been widely written about and published in academic, arts, and cultural studies anthologies, journals, and catalogues including Archi-feministes!; Art contemporain, theories feministes/Contemporary Art, Feminist Theories, Writing Black Canada: Transitions, the Journal of Canadian Studies, Public, Kapsula Magazine and Drain: Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture and Canadian Art. Osman holds an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University and a B.A. in African Studies from the University of Toronto. He has held fellowships and participated in artist residencies at the Interdisciplinary Center for Culture and Creativity at the University of Saskatchewan, the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, the McColl Centre for Visual Arts in Charlottetown, North Carolina, and currently at the Mark Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. Osman is currently a Community Leadership resident at the Queer and Trans Research Lab (QTRL) housed at the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies in 2021.