Connect with us


Through Positive Eyes: Exhibition



Through Positive Eyes is a new exhibition which builds on the work of South African photographer Gideon Mendel, harnessing the power of the arts to banish HIV stigma, which is on at the Durban Art Gallery to coincide with AIDS2016.

Exhibition at Durban Art Gallery for AIDS2016

A global exhibition to banish HIV stigma

Jul. 17 –Sep. 30, 2016

Award-winning photographer Gideon Mendel and UCLA professor David Gere have, for the last 10 years, been building Through Positive Eyes, a participatory photography project in which people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) share their stories in the form of photos, video, and narrative. Through Positive Eyes features over 100 photographs, an array of commissioned two-dimensional and sculptural works, and live storytelling documenting the realities of individuals living with HIV across the globe.

The exhibition opens at the Durban Art Gallery on July 17 coinciding with AIDS2016: the international Aids Conference taking place in Durban. In the eighteen months following the Durban opening, the exhibition will travel to the Adler Museum of Medicine at Wits University, Johannesburg (November 1-December 31, 2016), UNISA Gallery in Pretoria (January 15-March 1, 2017), and the Iziko Slave Lodge in Cape Town (April 1-December 31, 2017). Thereafter, it is slated to travel to venues in Europe and the United States.

Through Positive Eyes began as a series of photographic workshops co-directed by award-winning photo artist Gideon Mendel and the Art & Global Health Center of the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA).  The exhibition in its current form has been curated by David Gere (Los Angeles), Stan Pressner (New York) and Carol Brown (Durban).

In his 2003 book, Through Positive Eyes Mendel developed a method for interlacing images of People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) with first-person accounts, a potent combination that served to reduce the irrational stigma surrounding HIV. Through Positive Eyes takes Mendel’s image-and-text concept a step further, by putting cameras into the hands of the HIV-positive people themselves, so that they are encouraged to shape their own visual narratives and accompanying stories. The resulting work is especially raw and honest, revealing the deepest thoughts and feelings of PLWHA around the world.

The goal of Through Positive Eyes workshops is to empower HIV-positive people to pursue their own artistic voice and to develop their own individual narratives. Themes in the show include the “Burden of Stigma,” “Alive and Well,” “What Makes Me Laugh,” and “Stories My Body Tells.” Since 2007, 122 HIV-positive people in nine major cities have taken part in this unique initiative, contributing to an archive of over 120,000 photographs, thousands of hours of video footage, hundreds of photo-essays, and a wide array of mini-documentaries, all available online at Workshop locations include Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Mumbai, Bangkok, Port-au-Prince, and London. A group of HIV-positive people from the Durban area is being convened by the AIDS Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) just prior to the opening at Durban Art Gallery. This group of Durban “Artivists”— artist-activists — will share their stories live in the galleries throughout the run of the exhibition, in a theatrical environment created by New York artist Stan Pressner.

Through Positive Eyes

Through Positive Eyes

Other Artivists contributing works to the exhibition include Adriana Bertini (Brazil), Mandisa Dlamini (South Africa), Daniel Goldstein (United States), Ross Levinson (United States), Gordon Mundie (United Kingdom), and Parthiv Shah (India).

Through Positive Eyes and the activities of the UCLA Art & Global Health Center are made possible through the generous support of the Herb Ritts Foundation. Additional funding provided by the Electronic Theatre Controls, Ford Foundation, Teiger Foundation, UNAIDS, UCLA AIDS Institute, Gere Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. 

About Gideon Mendel:

Gideon Mendel is a London-based South African photographer and AIDS activist who has been chronicling HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa since 1993. Since then his groundbreaking work on HIV and on climate change has been widely recognized, most recently with the inaugural Pollock Prize for Creativity from the Krasner-Pollock Foundation.

About the UCLA Art & Global Health Center:

The UCLA Art & Global Health Center in Los Angeles is an art-and-health think tank specializing in reinventing sexual health education, devising new methods for HIV stigma reduction, reinforcing human empowerment, and catalyzing behavior change.

UCLA Art & Global Health Center:

120 Westwood Plaza, Suite 188, Los Angeles, CA 90095

About Through Positive Eyes:

Through Positive Eyes and the activities of the UCLA Art & Global Health Center are made possible through the generous support of the Herb Ritts Foundation. Additional funding provided by the Electronic Theatre Controls, Ford Foundation, Teiger Foundation, UNAIDS, UCLA AIDS Institute, Gere Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Through Positive Eyes Exhibition Information:

Where: Durban Art Gallery

When: Jul. 17, 2016–Sep. 30, 2016 Opening reception: July 17, 2016, 3:30 p.m.

Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday 8:30am – 4:00pm

Sunday 11am – 4:00pm

Special extended hours July 18-22 8:30am-6:30pm

July 18-22 special live performances by Drama for Life at 11AM, 12PM , 1PM and 5PM

Durban Art Gallery

Smith Street, 2nd Floor Smith Street, City Hall, Durban, 4001, South Africa

Phone: +27 31 311 2264

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Buzzart is Back & it’s All Green




The KZNSA Gallery’s biggest local-only Christmas fair is open… and runs until 12 January 2020. This year’s Buzzart theme of ‘BEING GREEN’ focuses on goods and activities, that are recycled, up-cycled, reworked, previously loved, home-grown, indigenous, organic, carbon friendly – and beautiful.

As calls for climate change grow louder and people all over the world speak out about climate change and environmental catastrophe, it is incumbent on all of us to find ways to live greener and consume responsibly.

Artistic director of the KZNSA, Angela Shaw is encouraging shoppers to “avoid the busy malls and do your festive and new year shopping in your local neighbourhood instead, while supporting independent designers and makers. Not only does it take the stress out of the festive season, but it also reduces our carbon footprint and puts income back into the local economy,” Shaw adds.

Even though each one of this year’s artists, designers and artisans have produced a diverse variety of gifts, artworks and crafts, they all have one thing in common…to limit their impact on the planet!

By using sustainable materials, cutting down on packaging and single-use plastics and re-using / re-purposing, their work is promoting a zero waste lifestyle.

Chifunilo Mulusa

Chifunilo Mulusa


*  Internationally renowned designer, Amanda Laird Cherry and Louis de VilliersCollaborative Clothing Capsule

* Surf, Street, Skate Zone  – Granadilla SwimwearZigzag Magazine, Simon and Mary hats, Sealand BagsA Love Supreme beach towels

Plant Zone – Indigenous house plants for your Christmas table décor and Christmas trees from Gods Green Gifts, Dennis Dyas of Urban Muthi, Skokiana nursery, Eyako Green (recycled billboard plant bag range), Magic Bean Foundation (crochet planter bags from recycled plastic bags), Bonsai installation by Art Bouy, Bren Brophy.

Kids Zone – Books, décor, clothes & stuffed toys

Art – collectable Sthenjwa Luthuli original works, Grace Kotze and Janet Solomon paintings, Nikhil Tricam, Nindya Bucktowar, Lindani Nyadeni, Lungisani Ndlovu, Lindokhule Khumalo, Fiona Kirkwood, Karla Nixon, plus Ready to use frames

* Photography – Cedric Nunn, Samora Chapman, Helen Walne, Lisa Beasley, Keri Muller, Jerome Stoffels, Garth Walker, Madisa Buthelezi

* Art books & publications – specialist books and magazines at great prices

Upcycled & Organic Processes – Birgit Jewellery, Carole Paxton plant-dyed textiles, spectacular upcycled clothing and bags from Leandi Mulder, ZStitch and Pattern Nation

Cute Trash

Cute Trash


In addition to the Buzzart fair, a number of activations and exhibitions will be on offer to gallery visitors:

Café and Shopping evenings – every Thursday the Arts Café and BUZZART will stay open until 20.00 for shopping and delicious meals under the Acacias. These evenings are aimed at the whole Family, so bring the kids along after work or the beach …and make the most of Durban’s fabulous Summer weather.

–  14 – 24 November / PARK GALLERY – For ten days, view the photographic body of work, Still City, by Aik Christodoulou, as mentored by Matt Kay

– Every Tuesday & Thursday / GLASS BOX – From 10h00 – 14h00, award-winning Independent publication, Ja. Magazine, hosts free zine, collage and writing workshops

– LIVE MUSIC – With Tony Cox and daughter, Thuli Cox, on Thursday 19 December, 19h00

First Thursdays – evening trading and live music on Thursday 5 December 2019 and Thursday 2 January 2020, 16h30 – 21h00

Previously loved books and clothes vendors in the courtyard every Sunday from 24 November – Sunday 12 January.

By way of a guide to visitors to the gallery looking for the perfect locally-produced gifts, each week has been themed to focus on  particular offerings:

*  WEEK 1 –  18 November – Teacher’s gifts and indigenous Christmas trees

*  WEEK 2 –  25 November – Focus on Photography – The Park Gallery becomes a photography group show

*  WEEK 3 – 2 December – Home Upgrades – art, textiles, ceramics rugs, plants, Christmas decorations

*  WEEK 4 – 9 December – Kids holiday sessions, activities, street art, zine-making

*  WEEK 5 – 16 December – Focus on Books this long-weekend

*  WEEK 6 – 23 December – Stocking-fillers and last-minute gifts

*  WEEK 7 – 30 December – New Year Party clothes

*  WEEK 8 – 6 January – Back to School with books, bags and stationery

Birch House

Birch House

Continue Reading


Local Celeb Cat Skabenga – Poses For Portraits




The well loved Royal Resident Feline at The Oyster Box, Skabenga has made Umhlanga’s ‘grand old dame’ his permanent home for many years – more than we know. Since his arrival he has made himself quite at home. He laps up the luxury of The Oyster Box and of course all the attention visitors to the hotel give him.

If you manage to pop into The Oyster Box at any given time you are sure to see Skabenga stretched the length of himself. In the entrance to the hotel, on loungers by the pool, on his favourite chair… anywhere of his choosing. He is Royalty after all.  

On one occasion, I have (admittedly) searched high and low for him and may (or may not) have posed for selfies.

Posing for portraits

Local artist Mandy Brockbank has painted some uniquely beautiful acrylic canvas portraits of our dear Skabenga. These are currently available for sale at The Oyster Box. The portraits depict Skabenga going about his daily (and very important) cat-business at the hotel.

If you are not familiar with the name Mandy Brockbank, we suggest you memorize it. This year she has showcased her works at the ECR House and Garden Show and been commissioned both locally and internationally to paint various murals, bespoke shop walls and believe it or not one-of-a-kind furniture!

Mandy paints on everything paint sticks to. Her works are alive with colour, refreshing, unique and not to mention, the woman has talent! If you are looking for something unique and special for your home or office get in touch with Mandy (details at the end of this article).

Skabenga – by Mandy Brockbank

Posing for the Cats of Durban Calendar

Skabenga is a celebrity in his own right with his own dedicated Facebook page.

This year he had his very own Safari themed birthday bash and has also posed for the Cats of Durban 2019‘Working Cats’ calendar. This calendar is filled with spectacular images of “working cats” uniquely captured by photographer Brendan Bromfield.

All the proceeds from the sale of these calendars will be donated to NPO Cats of Durban, who sterilise stray / feral cats and help educate the community!

We at Durbanite love Skabenga and look forward to keeping up to date on his adventures in 2019 and of course having a few cocktails at The Lighthouse Bar while we stalk him secretly.

We also hope to see local and lekker talents like Mandy Brockbank becoming household names. 

Contact info.

The Oyster Box: +27 31 514 5000

Mandy Brockbank: +27 83 991 3936

Continue Reading





Durban’s iconic I heart Market is a welcoming space for fans to spend a morning outdoors with friends, browsing over 100 stalls filled with hand and homemade goodies, produced right here in South Africa.

This Spring, the I heart Market vendors will be doing a Spring Clean of their own, as they put all their best sellers on sale, giving shoppers a chance to really enjoy some of their favourite products at some seriously low prices.

I heart SPRING SALE Market takes place twice a year; September and February and it is an exciting day out for everyone involved. “The I heart SPRING SALE Market gives vendors an opportunity to offer their customers great deals with bargain bins, sale rails and special offers on their end of range items and older stock,” says Anna Savage, founder of the I heart Market.

The I heart SPRING SALE is a highlight of the year, both for our vendors and the shoppers. It’s a super exciting market with people arriving in throngs, and some of Durban’s finest creatives offering exceptional and well-made products for less. There’s a thrill that comes with discovering a beautiful item and then getting it at a fraction of the price.”

From fresh foods to local fashion, children’s toys and clothing to homeware, décor, jewellery and treats for every taste; the I heart SPRING SALE Market takes place on Saturday the 1st of September and trades from 9am – 2pm.

I Heart Market

I Heart Market

There’s a great buzz in the marquees as traders and shoppers negotiate special deals and prices; while others search for that special gem they’ve been coveting. Understandably, sales items go very quickly so get there early, grab your coffee and shop ‘til your hearts content.

Unlike a typical flea market, the I heart Market is not a place you come to find a bargain, but rather to discover beautiful, bespoke items and support local entrepreneurs and crafters,” says Anna. “We realized that it was important for us to channel any discounts into a specific Sale Market in order to maintain our reputation as one of Durban’s’ premium craft markets. That way our customers can look forward to finding great deals twice a year, and they can expect a top-class market showcasing Durban’s incredible makers for the rest of the year.”

If you can’t make this I heart SALE Market, be sure to catch their next SALE Market on 2nd February 2019 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban.

Continue Reading

We Are Social