Afrovibes: The Black Circus of the Republic of Bantu

Princess Rose Zinzi Mhlongo (ZA) / Albert Silindokuhle Khoza (ZA)
Sun 8 Oct ’23 20:00
Exposes the violent and shameful legacy of ethnological displays in Western society between the 1870s and 1960s
Sun 8 Oct ’23

The Black Circus of the Republic of Bantu exposes the violent and shameful legacy of ethnological displays (such as human zoos and exhibitions) that were popular in Western society between the 1870s and 1960s.

Expositions featuring black people were often an exotic viewing spectacle during the colonial period. Through this live offering, South African artist/performer Albert Khoza explores the effect of the imperial and colonial gaze on Black bodies, how it sits within Black bodies today, and how it might be remedied. How do we deal with this legacy and uncomfortable past? Should we try to erase this legacy, bury it in the history books, or should we try to face this past?

In The Black Circus of the Republic of Bantu, Khoza turns this around and confronts the ethnic beauty and pride of his black, non-white and non-slender body and the different shades of brown skin. Examining the ongoing pain of historical and continuing racism, they create a space for collective healing and an opportunity for dignity to be reclaimed.

Albert Khoza is one of a number of artists who use their bodies as vessels and vehicles for change - bodies that have historically been and often continue to be viewed as objects of desire or servitude. The Black Circus of the Republic of Bantu is an immersive performance in which Khoza explores this ongoing pain of black bodies.. In the words of the two artists: 'We pay tribute to the many Africans whose lives and
bodies were turned into a viewing spectacle for white pleasure'.

Previously seen at Live Art Festival Cape Town 2022, Georgetown University Washington 2022, Liverpool Biennial 2023

  • Caution: featuring nudity, amplified sound and themes of sexual exploitation and the transatlantic slave trade.
  • Optional audience participation
  • Run time: 55 min
  • With the purchase of two or more tickets to a production of the Afrovibes Festival, you will receive a discount of 5 euros per ticket. This discount option will be added to the various ticket choices and you can select it yourself.

regie Princess Rose Zinzi Mhlongo concept & performer Albert Silindokuhle Khoza techniek Miranda Mogodla

About the maker

Albert Ibokwe Khoza is an internationally acclaimed performance artist who continuously reveals and projects a state of mind of a loner individual who is a non-binary womanly man and a Sangoma (traditional healer). Through their sexuality and traditional practice, they express their thoughts by moving between different artistic mediums to outline social ills and what their divergent nature sees and interprets about the world they live in, critically questioning their surroundings, their leaders and life itself.