Cultural Producers 2023

Siwa Mgoboza is an award-winning and multidisciplinary visual artist whose work has been shown locally and internationally. They often explore notions of difference and belonging as informed by their personal experiences of prejudice and assimilation.

Growing up abroad and subsequently returning to South Africa as a young being, Siwa was profoundly struck by the difference between their expectation of an egalitarian South Africa and the stark contrast of its reality.

As visual device, Siwa offers the viewer isiShweshwe as an accepted African signifier in his work, but it is simultaneously reconstituted as a question that undermines its very Africanness. By subverting both geographical and gender-specific assumptions, Siwa opens up alternative readings of what it is to be an African.

Siwa is currently based in Johannesburg, and is currently pursuing a MA in Fine Art at the University of Witwatersrand. They are a part-time assistant lecturer at the University of Cape Town.