My practice is body- based and uses the corporeal as the main sight of play, possibility, investigation and making. Because of this, I am continually drawn to my personal intersectionality and how that can also relate to the intersectionality of people like me. This would also speak to my inquisitions of my blackness, my womxnhood and my queerness, as well as, my relationship with class structures in relationship to all those aspects of my identity. This includes subject matters and issues around: menstruation, black mental health, GBV and rape culture and representations of black queer womxnhood in media and art. My work is interdisciplinary in nature. I use various multi-media to layer meaning and create palimpsest-like experiences that allow both the ‘performer’ and the audience to unpack multiple interpretations of the work. This ranges from the use of movement, choreography, voice, visuals (film, video, still), the use of music and sound, and writing.
THIS WORK IS BASED ON...
In 2019, I was sexually assaulted by a colleague and friend. This left deep scars and emotional, mental and physical traumas that I carried with me throughout the year, and in 2020. During the fellowship, I was deeply triggered and suffered PTSD for some time, but I was able to work through my experiences and come to a healthier mental space. I felt it necessary, in a country plagued by rape culture and GBV, to make a work that speaks to the pain we find ourselves in as a result of sexual violence, while still unpacking my own trauma. I became invested in understanding, through performance, archiving, connecting, filming, documenting and research, the material and immaterial feelings of re-trauma, after one has been raped or sexually assaulted.
‘Ore Phelele’ constantly comes back to itself, in the same way that I have come back to myself and my trauma from the past. But every time that revisiting happens, I am changed, made anew, given a chance to move through. The work is a reminder that sexual violence can never be perceived as a singular event; it is something a survivor has to live with, and constantly work through. The film is a reminder to all survivors that you will find your breath again, your head will float above the waters again, and you will laugh, and love and smile again. You are capable of so much. In the wise and words of Machel,” You will live and live long”.
Mamello Makhetha is an actress, voice artist, singer, performance artist, producer, and writer.
She performed in Nguvu Ya Mbegu: The Cleansing at the UCT Decolonial Festival in 2018, directed by Mandla Mbothwe, and at the ICA’s Infecting the City (ITC) public arts festival in 2019. Her work Madi Iphidisa Madi also featured at ITC 2019. In 2018, she performed Un-Televised with Grace Matetoa at Body Politic 3: Eros, an experimental performance art event curated by Louise Westerhout; she was in a group work entitled UMGOWO, an experiential butoh-based performance dealing with the collective and individual conscious experience of black mental health; and she performed in an installation-performance curated by Mandla Mbothwe celebrating Sindiwe Magona’s 75th birthday. In 2020, she played Tina for Amiya Nagpal’s performative script in the Yokohama Triennial’s Episodo 3; she performed in Isabella Chydenius and Balindile ka Ngcobo’s City of Ladies for the Cape Town Art Fair; and she also co-performed in Anathi Rubela’s LGBTQIA+ for their D3 Contemporary Performance Course.
Concept and Performed by Mamello Makhetha
Choreography Mentorship by Quinton Manning
Cinematography Thandi Gula
Cinematography Assistant by Ramadumetse
Edit and Graded by Bryan Augaustyn
Music by Mikyla Emergui
- Quinton Manning – Zoom Interview
- Anath Rubela – Zoom Interview
- Anonymous – Voice Recording
Web Designer: Laura Seal
Technical Advisor: Buntu Tyali
Curator: Amogelang Maledu : Jay Pather