Artist Statement by Vanessa Majoro
My work is an expression of my frustration, acceptance and finally a celebration of everything that it means to be black to me, personally in this present age. As a child, you’re in some ways shielded from the realities that we face as black people and this card we’ve been dealt. We dream, we kinda plan out our futures too. But it doesn’t turn into reality for so many of us. We are still unemployed, even with a University degree. There are still thousands of homes without clean water or electricity. We still live in “two rooms” where we need to pull out old flat mattresses to sleep on at night, if we’re lucky to even have a mattress or more than “one room”. We still take turns on who gets to sleep on the bed at night.
We’ve been queuing since 1994, the object has just changed from a cross symbolizing our rights to freedom, to ones where we’re still waiting after sunset for a taxi home. Collection of social grants. Queuing at the clinic for our HIV treatment which we’ll receive in a shared consultation room with no confidentiality. Our lives, our stories are not top billing. Yes, the black man has come into power, some have been able to escape our curse, but so many of us have not moved from where our ancestors were so many generations ago.
I try to capture our stories. They’re not any one’s cup of tea, but they are a reality to so many of us. Trying to capture and portray that the segregation isn’t one of race anymore, but one of class. Bringing a sense of beauty to what’s considered ho sotleha. Telling the stories of our uncles ba tawang, le bo mme that sit in the scorching sun everyday cleaning chicken intestines.