Javett-UP 2022 Programme Announcement

The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP)

Situated in the heart of Tshwane, The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria is the home of countless pan-African artistic practices.

The Javett-UP 2022 programme, in its inclusivity, care, new knowledge sustainability and contemporary heritage contexts, is a reflection of these ideals.

“Our programme for 2022 is intended to shift traditional perceptions of how art institutions operate in our region. It is an acknowledgement that if the sector has to sustain itself, it has to begin to understand that competing for a share of the market within the context of the social value of the arts and visitor experience is becoming a norm. We will be staging high-quality curatorial activations and interruptions, interfaced with exciting unconventional public engagement events in all spheres, including indoor, outdoor, virtual and remote. We will explore notions of access through a pan-African lens of creative discoveries,” said Lekgetho Makola, CEO of Javett-UP.

After its launch in 2019, and subsequent Covid-19 temporal closures, the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria is excited to launch its 2022 programme beginning with Yakhal’Inkomo: The Bongi Dhlomo Collection, opening on 26 March 2022, closing on 15 January 2023. Internationally acclaimed curator Tumelo Mosaka joins the Javett-UP as the guest curator and is supported by Sipho Mndanda as co-curator and Phumzile Nombuso Twala as education and research coordinator.

Yakhal’ Inkomo is an exhibition drawing from The Bongi Dhlomo Collection on long- term loan at the Javett-UP. The title is borrowed from saxophonist and composer Winston Mankunku Ngozi’s 1968 historic influential jazz masterpiece. The exhibition will feature both visual art from the collection and other artistic expressions (photography, film, poetry and drama) from the same period.

“This curatorial project is an opportunity for us to explore the creative impulses that reflect directly on our histories and collective trauma experienced by generations of Black people in South Africa, says Javett-UP Curatorial Director Gabi Ngcobo. “Ngozi’s 1968 jazz composition Yakhal’inkomo and the exhibition that takes it as a starting point, compels us to search further and to develop a variety of tools to unpack the many ways history continues to shape the present. It places us in a catalytic position for the reimaging of more enabling futures, especially for those of us who still find themselves bellowing in the face of social, political and economic injustices.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive educational mediation and public engagement programme taking place at the Javett-UP, online and in locations around Gauteng. It will feature film screenings, conversations, workshops and performances.


Scenorama combines the words ‘panorama’ and ‘scene’ to suggest an event that is staged in order to provide a scan into the creative environment of a particular place and its sometimes-unexplored connections to specific parts of the world. Scenorama is a platform initiated as a place maker/marker considering its various adjacencies, with the University of Pretoria and Tshwane, the administrative capital city of the country with a specific political history in the context of South Africa. Scenorama will consider the Javett-UP location with regards to historical neighbouring centres around Tshwane as well as the often-unrecognised diasporic positions with historical links to Africa.

Scenorama will feature participating artists Nolan Oswald Dennis, Nyakallo Maleke, Manyaku Mashilo, Paulo Nazareth, Amanda Mushate and Thierry Oussou amongst many. This iteration of Scenorama is thought of as a pilot that will provide grounds for collaboration, partnerships, publicity and other opportunities for the continuity and growth of the project.


The Visionary Award is an annual art award to discover, nurture and support creative outputs with a particular focus on mediums of film and photography. The 2021/2022 version of the award is administered through a collaborative partnership between Tim Hetherington Trust in the United Kingdom and Javett-UP. Initiated to commemorate the memory of British photojournalist Tim Hetherington, The Visionary Award is designed to foster innovative approaches to visual storytelling by incubating visionary individuals and offering inspiration to others.

The Preempt Group Collective, a multidisciplinary collective facilitated by Mbali Dhlamini and Phumulani Ntuli, is the 2021/2022 recipient of The Visionary Award. Their proposal addressed the use of technology devices in order to speak about things that already exist. The collective works within the intersections of trans-media technology, archives and open source technologies. They engage diverse publics/ audiences through workshops, exhibitions and film screenings attempting to make visible the pauses of technology within decoloniality. The duo’s work challenges the conventional gallery presentation and encourages audiences to look and be part of an experience.


Frequencies is a long-term project conceived and founded by artist Oscar Murillo in 2013. Since its conception, Murillo has sent pieces of blank canvases to schools around the globe with the sole requirement that they be affixed to classroom desks for a term, inviting students aged 10-16 to freely mark, draw, scribble or write on the canvas. Over the past eight years, Frequencies has grown to become a vast global project involving more than 300 schools in over 30 countries, including Brazil, China, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Nepal, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, UK, USA and many others. Frequencies is administered by the Frequency Institute, a space for encounter, research and engagement with and about Frequencies as well as the home of Frequencies archive of 40, 000 canvases created by 100,000 children from 350 different schools in 34 different countries.

Frequencies Institute works to facilitate interaction with the archive through different approaches: photographic digitisation of the canvases and its analysis; commissioning academic research focusing on the collection; promoting art education for young people; working on publishing projects; collaborating in exhibitions; developing projects with the network of participating schools and encouraging engagement through our public programme.

Frequencies Africa will present, at the Javett-UP, canvases from eight schools from Africa including South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Ghana, etc.


The Plant Laboratory is initiated under the experimental research platform Laboratory of Ideas. The project takes the idea of creative research further by thinking through an edible indigenous plant garden exploring plants original to our region. The garden installation is a starting point for conversations around the history of food, caring for the earth and our bodies. The project is conceived as a dynamic collaborative platform for conversations that will draw together a wide variety of artistic voices for a series of exchanges with young farmers from the region, students of agriculture, technologists, engineers, food scientists, healers, chefs, policymakers, etc.

The Plant Lab will become a site for public pedagogies through which the idea of the ‘local’ can be radicalised. Through a series of commissioned performative actions, the Lab will become one of Javett-UP’s platforms from which contact zones can be established and maintained. The programmes generated through the Lab will explore what the future of being together (commoning) may potentially look like in a post-Covid-19 world. Including, how outcomes of the Lab can be tangible solutions towards support for food security and sustainability in our region.

The Lab will work collaboratively with UP students to create the garden and its programmes.

About The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP)

The Javett-UP is a space that enhances unique and exceptional transdisciplinary learning through the arts. We engage diverse publics in exploring the human condition and reimagining our futures.

The Javett-UP is a partnership between the University of Pretoria and the Javett Foundation. Both share a firm belief in the value of the arts for society in general and education. It’s a project that is collegiate as it is philanthropic. With one foot firmly rooted in academia, and the other embedded in the public, Javett-UP aims to make the pan-African artistic practices accessible, relevant and engaging.

Researching the arts lies at the very heart of the work of the Javett-UP. We aim to set new benchmarks in art curation, conservation and education. The fact that the Javett-UP is part of the University of Pretoria’s research, teaching and learning resource means that this is a place not only for enjoying art but for learning about it, too. At the Javett-UP, learning and enjoying are two sides of the same coin. Both are valued, and both are encouraged.

For more information go to www.javettup.art.

Should you wish to book in advance, don’t hesitate to contact bookings@javettup.art

Standard Opening Times: 10:00 – 17:00 | Tuesday to Sunday with the last admission at 16:00.

Lakin Morgan-Baatjies
The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP)