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THWASA (article first published : 2003-09-10)

Established in 2000, 3rd Eye Vision is a dynamic Durban-based collective of artists of all disciplines who share a common cultural vision about the future. The group has initiated numerous projects and its members are pro-active in creating an environment that nurtures artists and build on cultural activities. In this way, they create a platform where artists can experience working together in a professional environment, sharing skills, developing and empowering each other. 3rd Eye Vision celebrates multi-disciplinary work and cross-disciplinary collaboration between music, poetry, visual arts and performing arts.

The exhibition and event is titled and themed Thwasa, a reference to the right of passage to a higher state of being. The word itself can be traced as a description for the initiation stage of traditional healers. The exhibition locates its relevance in the larger philosophical and conceptual concerns of the group. These include the current notions of African identity and the search for an inclusive African identity, so often overshadowed by survival issues of morality, poverty, corruption and the Aids pandemic.

3rd Eye Vision has developed a strategy of searching for clues in African traditions, myths, legends and custom to re-connect them to the present and to define a progressive route to an African centred future.

The exhibition will consist of works by Thando Mama, Gabi Ncgobo and Zamani Makhanya, key members of the collective. A major part of the exhibition is a collaborative installation on the theme of the exhibition.

A special event will take place on September 23 at 18h30 as part of the Celebrate Durban Festival. This will see further collaborations around the theme of “Thwasa”, and include some of Durban’s hottest designers, performers, musicians and poets.

Sandile Msomi has been commissioned to dress all the artists for the evening in his designs, whilst Sithembiso Shibe and Ntsimane Mfetane are responsible for all the graphic design related to the exhibition and event. Hlengiwe Lushaba, Manu Ndlovu and Khathala Nkomo will present their dance theatre work, music will be supplied by Keith Kunene, Portia Malunga and Sazi Dlamini. Jack Mthembu and Sli Mokoena will supply specially prepared finger food. The event is supported by the eThekwini Municipality.

The exhibition runs until September 28 and is funded through a grant received from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.




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