GUS launches ISIMO, a new short film by Sethembile Msezane | Art.co.za Art Blog
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GUS launches ISIMO, a new short film by Sethembile Msezane Article Image

GUS launches ISIMO, a new short film by Sethembile Msezane

Posted on 28 January 2021

GUS (Gallery University Stellenbosch) presents the digital launch of ISIMO (2020), a short film by Sethembile Msezane. Msezane is currently an artist-in-residence at GUS (in partnership with the Mellon Foundation, as well as the Departments of Visual Arts and English, Stellenbosch University).

ISIMO (2020) is a short film that takes place against the backdrop of Hoerikwaggo, commonly known as Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. In the film, an ancestral matriarchal figure feels and holds the pain of the living in her womb. She diagnoses the world as we know it as being ill, disconnected from nature and in need of healing.

The work acknowledges that the world has struggled with physical, mental or spiritual wellness before the current pandemic. It also recognises the adverse effects of colonialism that pervades and continues to haunt society. Though the education system has been threatened by the pandemic as schools are closed for months, the younger generation that is the future of the world is watching how we navigate our current state and what we teach them during this time is key in creating a better future.

Through a curriculum of ancient indigenous knowledge that is informed by ideas of the late prophet, sangoma and author Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, the ancestral matriarch reminds us that even in adversity we need to continue to live. Even through the socio-political adversities located internationally and in Africa, she suggests that the remedy is to filter through the noise and continue to exist in that which is fulfilling.

View the short film online debut on the GUS website on Tuesday, 4 February at 18:00. The film will be available for viewing from 4 to 13 February 2021.


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