Sethembile Msezane on history, commemorative practice and making space for omitted stories of black women
The women in Sethembile Msezane’s work demand your attention. They stand, on top of mountains, on plinths in the middle of Rhodes Must Fall crowds. They wake up on beds in the middle of a field. They stand defiantly with their fists up on public holidays; ring large bells to signal the return of those women whose deaths are quickly forgotten. They kneel on top of World Heritage sites diagnosing the world’s illnesses and drawing attention to our disconnect from nature. In whichever medium we meet her work — film, photography, performance, sculpture or drawings — Sethembile Msezane is always commemorating the stories of women. Black women in particular.