[ISEA2018] Artists Talk: Russel Hlongwane — Ifu Elimnyama (Dark Cloud)

Artists Statement

Ifu Elimnyama is a recital of a piece of literature written by Russel Hlongwane that fuses Zulu mythological figures as agents from the fourth dimension. These figures (imincwi) have travelled through spacetime to deliver messages to the Zulu people who lost their culture when they lost connection to the ‘’cloud’’ which is their repository of all their histories and collective memories. They are desperately needing to reconnect with the (dark) cloud in order to unlock their connection to uNomkhubulwane (the Zulu goddess of rain) through the (dark) cloud by means of laying a fibre network. History is a contested space and this work uses Zulu history and mythology as ingredients to reposition Zulu mythology in modern parlance through the vocabulary and activities associated with digital ‘’customs and/ or rituals’’.

  • Russel Hlongwane is a cultural producer based in Durban, South Africa. His work is located at the intersection of Heritage, Modernity and Culture/Tradition as it applies to various disciplines of artistic practice. His said practice includes cultural research, creative producing and curating. Within the built environment, he worked on the Union of International Architects (2014) and is currently undertaking a research project (ekhaya nomkhaya) commissioned by the Urban Futures Centre at Durban University of Technology. He is a member of the Creative Producers International platform which is a cohort of creative producers sourced from 15 cities across the world.