Sma Rajoale Kumalo
Sma Rajoale Kumalo is based in uMlazi, KZN. As a multidisciplinary artist, Kumalo records his ritual performances through video, installation and photography. Influenced by the conundrum of a strict Christian upbringing by his paternal grandmother who eschewed Zulu traditions, his grandfather promoted his African Zulu/Sotho culture and teasingly called him Bussman for being brown. As a queer black man, his work is rooted in depicting unreceptive social mores such as religion and culture that demand heteronormative sexuality. His 2017 exhibition, The Monkey on My Shoulder, explores post/colonialism and psychological trauma as the Other. He researched Sara Baartman and Frans Taaibosch who were displayed in European freak shows as sub-humans and the work of Tracey Rose and Nandipha Mntambo. In their interrogation of European colonialism, these artists insert their bodies in their works: Venus Baartman (2001) and The Rape of Europa (2009). Influenced by their cultural contestation, Rajoale-Kumalo presents a counter-gaze, performing his identity at colonial sites in Durban, including Francis Farewell Square, the Natural Science Museum at City Hall and his former school, George Campbell School of Technology.
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