The Showroom

Fortnightly Highlight 1: An Interlude

Dear friends,

We plan to send you a note from our desks every two weeks – sharing with you thoughts about The Showroom's online archive, about past and present projects – in the hope that this offers you an interlude, hopefully something you experience as beautiful and thought-provoking, that redirects your mind away from some of the new routines we are learning to live with.

What follows is not necessarily your usual newsletter, because these are not typical times. For the first time, we want not to invoke the 'voice’ of the organisation, but rather offer you our personal reflections, writing to you fortnightly about our current projects as well as others in our archive, as if they were a state of mind, or perhaps a note to self – if one is to follow Simnikiwe Bulunghu’s invitation...


Elvira Dyangani Ose
Director, The Showroom



Recetas Urbanas: Affection as Subversive Architecture – Virtual Updates

Whilst our current project is physically closed, we're bringing the videos and archive materials on display to you virtually. Enjoy these materials from home, which introduce Spanish architecture collective Recetas Urbanas's projects exploring collective methodologies for creating alternative architectural and educational spaces through participatory self-construction and active citizenship.




Book Launch & Screening: Cinemas of the Mozambican Revolution with Ros Gray

At our most recent event last month, Ros Gray introduced her new book Cinemas of the Mozambican Revolution: Anti-Colonialism, Independence and Internationalism in Filmmaking, 1968-1991, exploring how a unique culture of revolutionary filmmaking began during the armed struggle against Portuguese colonialism in Mozambique. Ros screened excerpts from two films rarely shown in the UK, Santiago Álvarez's Maputo: meridiano novo (Maputo: The Ninth Meridian), 1976 and João Costa and Carlos Henrique’s Pamberi ne Zimbabwe (Forward Zimbabwe), 1981.

Listen to the recording from this special event to learn more about this radical experiment in harnessing cinema to social change.





Women on Aeroplanes Inflight Magazine #1

Read Issue One of the Women on Aeroplanes Inflight Magazine edited by Annett Busch and Marie-Hélène Gutberlet from the international curatorial team of the wider project, including Magda Lipska, Emily Pethick and Elvira Dyangani Ose with The Otolith Collective. This first issue includes texts by Kodwo Eshun and Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa.

At The Showroom Women on Aeroplanes included new commissions by artists Lungiswa Gqunta, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum and Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, and observed the largely unrecognised role of women in struggles for liberation, their participation in transatlantic networks, and their key voices in revolutionary socio-political movements that helped to achieve post-colonial nation-states in Africa.




Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Aural Contract – The Freedom of Speech Itself

This video documentation produced by Ibraaz in 2012 introduces the exhibition The Freedom of Speech Itself as part of Lawrence Abu Hamdan's wider research project Aural Contract, commissioned by The Showroom within our participatory programme Communal Knowledge.

In conversation with Anthony Downey, Abu Hamdan introduces his installation at The Showroom, which included a new sound commission and excerpts from his wider sound archive of juridical listening and speaking. Aural Contract constituted a series of events, publications, performances, exhibitions, interviews, compositions and workshops, all examining the politics of listening through a focus on the role of the voice in law.



Uriel Orlow: Mafavuke's Trial and Other Plant Stories, 2016

This major commission by London-based artist Uriel Orlow looked to the botanical world as a stage for politics at large through film, photography, installation and sound. Working from the dual vantage points of South Africa and Europe, the project considered plants as both witnesses and actors in history, and as dynamic agents – linking nature and humans, rural and cosmopolitan medicine, tradition and modernity – across different geographies, histories and systems of knowledge, with a variety of curative, spiritual and economic powers.

Through the work of many artists, communities and collaborators, a multi-vocal archive and new medicinal garden opened up dialogues between the UK, South Africa and other parts of the continent. Participants included David Goldblatt, Cedric Nunn, Kapwani Kiwanga, Philippe Zourgane, Subtle Agency (Julia Raynham, Bradley van Sitters and collaborators), Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe), 60 Penfold Community Hub, Carole Wright, Church Street Bengali Women’s Group and Penfold Hub Gardening Group.


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    Event Fortnightly Highlight 4: There Is No Alternative

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    What Would You Make A Video About?

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    There Is No Alternative

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    Event Fortnightly Highlight 3: There Are Other Ways

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    There Are Other Ways

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    Event Fortnightly Highlight 2: Collective Isolation

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    Collective Isolation

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    An Interlude