2015 -


Initiated in 2015, Elegy is a long-term commemorative performance project. Staged in various locations and contexts, each performance calls together a group of female vocal performers who collectively enact a ritual of mourning. Durational and physically taxing, the performance sustains a kind of sung cry – evoking the presence of an absent individual.

Responding to the physical, ontological and structural outworkings of rape-culture in South Africa, Elegy performances recall the identity of individuals whose subjectivities have been fundamentally violated – and who are, as such, all too easily consigned to a generic, all-encompassing victimhood. With each performance commemorating a specific woman or LGBTQI+ individual subjected to fatal acts of gendered and sexualised violence, significant to the work is how loss becomes a site for community, and for empathic, cross-cultural and cross-national encounters. Seeking to work around the kinds of symbolic violence through which traumatised black and brown bodies are routinely objectified, Elegy performances open an alternative intersectional space, wherein mourning is presented as a social and politically productive work – not in the sense of healing or ‘closure’, but as a necessary and sustained irresolution.


Elegy / 7-Channel Video Installation - Future Generation Art Prize, Palazzo Ca’Tron, Venice, 2019. photos by Maksim Belousov


ELEGY / Louisa van de Caab [3min excerpt]

Iziko Slave Lodge, Cape Town, 2018

Read Dr Saarah Jappie’s tribute


Elegy / Eunice Ntombifuthi Dube - Centre for the Less Good Idea, Johannesburg, 2018. photos: Stella Tate


ELEGY / Eunice Ntombifuthi Dube [3min excerpt]

Centre for the Less Good Idea, Johannesburg, 2018

Read Thulisile Portia Dube’s tribute


Elegy / Sizakele Sigasa & Salome Masooa - Verbo Performance Art Festival, Galeria Vermelho & Videobrasil, São Paulo, 2018


ELEGY / Sizakele Sigasa & Salome Masooa [3min excerpt]

Verbo Performance Art Festival, São Paulo, 2018

Read Khumo Modisane’s tribute


Elegy / 7-Channel Video Installation - Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, 2019. photos courtesy Goodman Gallery


ELEGY / Joan Thabeng [3min excerpt]

National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, 2018

Read Phodiso Aphane’s tribute


Elegy / Joan Thabeng - Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2018, photos: Ayka Lux


ELEGY / Hannah Cornelius [3min excerpt]

Spielart, Munich, 2017

Read Mr & Mrs Cornelius’ tribute

ELEGY / Camron Britz [3min excerpt]

Spielart, Munich, 2017

Read Mrs Britz’ tribute


ELEGY / Lerato 'Tambai' Moloi [3min excerpt]

Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, 2017

Read Zandile Motsoeneng’s tribute


ELEGY / Lekita Moore [3min excerpt]

Duke University, Durham, 2017


ELEGY / Noluvo Swelindawo [3min excerpt]

ICA Live Art Festival '17, Cape Town, 2017


Elegy / Noluvo Swelindawo - ICA Live Art Festival '17, Cape Town 2017, images courtesy Institute for the Creative Arts


ELEGY / Koketso 'Queen' [3min excerpt]

Gwen Frostic Art Centre, Michigan, 2016

Read a Friend’s tribute


ELEGY / Sinoxolo Mafevuka [3min excerpt]

Langa Methodist Church, Cape Town, 2015


ELEGY / Ipeleng Christine Moholane [3min excerpt]

Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, 2015

Read Isaac Moholane’s tribute