Tuli Mekondjo is a self-taught Namibian artist whose work explores the construction of identity in the shadow of Namibia’s violent past as both a German and later South African colony.

Drawing on her ongoing research into pre-colonial Aawambo fertility dolls, Mekondjo carries a doll on her back as a way to honour her ancestors and to reflect on both communal and personal loss experienced during her lifetime and the preceding decades: “This doll is an embodiment of every single ancestor, every single relative that I never met.”

The histories of Namibian cultural and ethnographic objects -many of which are now housed in European museums – come under scrutiny in Mekondjo’s performance.

The exhibition will showcase a video of Tuli’s performance piece ‘Ousie Martha’ 2023/24.

Drawing on 1950s images from Namibia found in the Basler Afrika Bibliographien archive in Switzerland, Ousie Martha was presented in 2023 in both Basel and Berlin.

In this work documented in Basel and South Africa, the artist channels the spirits of Namibian women who laboured as domestic workers during the colonial and apartheid eras. Mekondjo symbolically steps into the role of Martha...

* Tuli Mekodjo’s work is showcased, courtesy of the Basler Afrika Bibliographien Switzerland and, Guns and Rain Gallery South Africa.


Powered By Afrinova

Supported by: Landis & Gyr Stiftung, SüdkulturFonds, Swisslos-Fonds Basel Stadt
Powered By Afrinova 
Supported By: Landis & Gyr Stiftung, and SüdkulturFonds.