Underwear covers Maboneng skies

AFFECTING ALL: Used underwear is on display in Maboneng to raise awareness of rape.

Over the past weekend, an art installation of the utmost significance was installed in the food and culture hub, Maboneng.

Ndumiso Msimanga and Jenny Nijenhuis, performance artist and sculptor respectively, coordinated an art installation called SA’s Dirty Laundry on the first day of 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women And Children to speak out about sexual assault and rape, as well as to connect people and their stories.

“It started when Jenny and I were having a conversation about our art – and with both of us having experienced sexual assault, we wanted to make art that would speak back to this issue,” Msimanga said.

IN THE MIND: SA's Dirty Laundry is the brainchild or Ndumiso Msimanga and Jenny Nijenhuis.

IN THE MIND: SA’s Dirty Laundry is the brainchild or Ndumiso Msimanga and Jenny Nijenhuis.

Stats SA reported that from last year to this year, 51 895 sexual offences were recorded – an average of 142.2 per day.

With that terrifying statistic in mind, in addition to their own personal experiences, the two artists began a campaign during which they collected the used underwear from 3 600 women across the world to hang above the streets of Maboneng.

“This project is a platform that connects people to each other and their issues. Underwear, like rape, is an intimate thing and when it is taken away, it is like your identity is taken away. Now, with SA’s Dirty Laundry we are taking back the power. People all over the world are connected by this issue and survivors can now feel courage and connectedness with others.”

The line of used underwear starts at the SoMa Art Space in Maboneng, where there is an exhibition titled Things We Do For Love, that runs alongside the precinct-wide installation until 4 December.

Along with the installation and the exhibition, there will be art workshops held for people to learn how to express themselves and put back together the pieces of a broken soul through art.

There will also be a closing performance outside SoMa Art Space on 4 December.

Details: www.sasdirtylaundry.co.za; somaart.co.za

Read: #Mabonengman appears in the city

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Racine Edwardes

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