When We See Us

July 26, 2023

Above: Where better to be spending the school vacay than Lalela’s holiday programme at Zeitz MOCAA

Students in Lalela’s holiday programme at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town were kept busy and inspired with a project designed to complement a powerful exhibition currently on show. They got to learn and have loads of fun at the same time, in a safe – and creative – space…

Among our carefully designed educational arts curricula, there are some that resonate profoundly with Lalela’s students. For our holiday programme in July, some of our students got to enjoy an extra special experience with a project informed by the incredible exhibition currently on show at Zeitz MOCAA – ‘When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting’.

We consider ourselves fortunate to enjoy a longstanding partnership with this amazing, landmark museum, which houses the largest collection of contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora on the continent. We are also privileged to have our very own beautiful Lalela classroom here, in association with the museum’s Education Centre. During normal school term, we transport learners in from surrounding low-fee and no-fee schools to participate in Lalela workshops. During the school holidays, we continue to hold workshops, often in tandem with the museum’s Education Centre, and tying in with exhibitions currently on show. This is the case with our ‘When We See Us’ curriculum.

Above: Standing in the awe-inspiring atrium of the museum, our students get to feel like important artists (which they are!) showing off their beautiful works!

There couldn’t be a more powerful exhibition for these youth to be exposed to. Featuring more than 200 works of art by Black artists working globally, it celebrates how artists from Africa and its diaspora have imagined, positioned, memorialised and asserted African and African-descent experiences. It contributes to critical discourse on African and Black liberation, intellectual and philosophical movements.

The exhibition includes works by artists such as Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Zandile Tshabalala, Jacob Lawrence, Chéri Samba, Danielle McKinney, Archibald Motley, Ben Enwonwu, Kingsley Sambo, Sungi Mlengeya, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Cyprien Tokoudagba, Amy Sherald, Mmapula Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi and Joy Labinjo, to name a few, and in many instances bring these artists and their practice in dialogue for the first time.

Above: To get a closer look, click on the images! We’re so impressed by these creative artworks by our Lalela students!

In turn, Lalela learners who come to our programme from some of the city’s most under-resourced communities, feel seen and gain a confident sense of their unique place in the world, and of all the possibilities ahead of them.

These are some of the amazing artworks that were created by Lalela students during the July school holiday – we think they would look pretty good up on the museum’s walls, too!

Well done to our students and Lalela art facilitators for a successful, inspiring, thought-provoking holiday programme!

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Your generosity makes it possible for Lalela’s educational arts programmes to create meaningful change that affects thousands of at-risk children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Your generosity makes it possible for Lalela’s educational arts programmes to create meaningful change that affects thousands of at-risk children in Sub-Saharan Africa.



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