Open Studio Impression by Sithabile Mlotshwa

I’ve chosen the theme: “In Search of Ubuntu – A Collective History – Dutch Golden Age,” as a reflection of this period, the impact it had if any in shaping the world,

socially and economically. By using this as my take off point, in response to; Iepen Mienskip – Open Community, I propose to critically reflect on and

begin the dialogue on what it means to be an Open Community in the current state of our world. This project is a great opportunity to take a closer and critical look at what has brought about the controversial issues facing the Western world—from refugees to climate change, racism to inequality and what it is to be human, in relation to each other, to our world and most importantly to the protection and preservation of our natural environment.

By beginning in the past, I question if there are similarities between the Dutch Golden age and Global Capitalism and whether there are lessons to be learned

in our attempt to fix all that men has broken. Through this project, I also question the role of women as they are at the core of the formation and re-shaping of the community.

It is with this reason that my take off point is from our past, in relation to our present and the impact this has on how we shape our future.

My hope is that the body of work that I produce, will not only spark a critical but fruitful dialogue but that it moves us from “Iepen Mienskip or Open Community” towards “Ubuntu, a Zulu filosophy meaning – I am because you are, also meaning my existence is only possible through the recognition others and everything, man, nature and beast alike.”

Sithabile Mlotshwa | http://www.thamgidifoundation.org|