B. 1981, Molteno, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Asanda Kupa’s (b.1981) work is grounded by the experiences of those forced to the periph- ery of ‘The New South Africa’; despite its great re-birth. Born in Molteno – a semi-rural village in South Africa’s poorest province, the Eastern Cape – Kupa’s scenes depict the chaos and energy of life for many of South Africa’s subjugated black population, a life that is defined by struggle and by lack of access to basic resources. Kupa is concerned with how the new political regime has failed its people – the very people who brought it to power through their own sacrifice – whilst also celebrating the self-de- termining spirit that marks a long history of civic action. Protest, spurred by grass-roots community frustration, is a central theme of his work. His series of striking crowd scenes, inspired by the Marikana mine-worker massacre of 2012, shows militant action not only as an expression of fury, but also a place of refuge and hope in post-apartheid South Africa.
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