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Sethembile Msezane

South Africa

Msezane’s work encompasses performance, photography, film, sculpture and drawing. She creates works heavy with spiritual and political symbolism, calling attention to the absence of the black female body in both the narratives and physical spaces of historical commemoration.


After living in Cape Town for five years, Msezane realized that she still felt as if she didn’t belong. Walking down the street she could not identify with the monuments and statues that were supposed to represent national identity. They were all of white male colonial figures. “In all of this I could not see anything African; I could not see anything that was women. I could not see anything that was like my mother and my aunts, or women that I knew. So for me, it was a task of reclaiming histories that had been omitted from public spaces. That’s how I came to perform and use my body.”

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