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South Africa: curing HIV/AIDS through art

by archyde

A 4 x 7 meter Multi-panel artwork, along with several other works are currently on display in Johannesburg. Their particularity is that they were created 15 years ago by 130 unemployed women, most of whom had been affected by HIV/AIDS at the beginning of the 21st century.

An achievement supported by the artistic project Keiskamma in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. This work was presented for the first time at the Anglican Cathedral of Grahamstown, in South Africa, in July 2005. The altarpiece allowed Nozeti Makhubalo60 years old to smile again.

“It heals you from the inside. It heals you through the needle and the threads, because you’re expressing yourself and coming home from home sometimes too stressed: ‘I wonder what I’m going to cook tonight? But when you get to the studio, we have tables (where) we sit together and we share that. So we support each other, we share the burden that you have. Then when you come home, you’re happy like never before.”, explains the artist.

Eunice Mangwane also got involved in the project to help raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in the Eastern Cape. She even opened the first hospice in Hamburg, for those affected by the disease.

“It didn’t last long, the patients were coming gradually. I was able to have up to five in my house. And of the five, two died and the three are still alive until now. And it was only then that the community saw the progress of this man, because I used to put him on a wheelbarrow when I took him to the clinic. saw the progress of this gentleman that they came.”;

These results are also credited to Carol Hofmeyr founder of the artistic project in 2000. Inspired by a painting of people affected by the plague at the beginning of the 19th century.

“A lot of people say COVID brought people together, they wanted to help people around them, they wanted to support their neighbours. But HIV didn’t. People didn’t want them in their homes and so the act of doing embroidery together is also something that brings people together to support each other.” she explains.

After painting, the project has a musical academy. Music is also often considered as therapy.

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