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    Thebe Phetogo, Self-portrait.

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    Tila Likunzi

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    Bag Factory, Johannesburg (South Africa)

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    Bag Factory, Johannesburg (South Africa)


Grant Holders 2021

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Tila Likunzi
Thebe Phetogo

Tila Likunzi (*1982 in Luanda, Angola) is an independent art curator and researcher since 2017. She worked for many years as a translator, interpreter, proof-reader and copywriter before joining the Arts. In addition to curating Angolan contemporary art both independently and for Jahmek Contemporary Art, she closely follows ideological currents of African origin and descent and is dedicated to the independent study of contemporary African philosophy and theology, looking into the art and thinking behind Angolan rituals, customs and religious beliefs. She is a co-founder of Lugânzi – The Living Archive. Her upcoming research at Bag Factory will focus on contemporary African photography and photographers.


Towards a City – Possibilities in Inner-City Johannesburg and Luanda

The publication was developed during Tila Likunzi's residency at the Bag Factory in Johannesburg and is online available here.

"This publication articulates a photographic conversation between Luanda and Johannesburg, in an image space where our cities feature not as isolated events, but as part of larger shared experiences of urbanism in Africa. It is an experiment both connecting and sharing visual and sensual knowledge of our cities and valuing the role artists and photographers have played in documenting the spatial, temporal, social, cultural, (hi)storical, racial, structural, financial and economic phenomena of our current societies and the questions and problems that these contemporary societies pose, in ways that reach out to and communicate with creative and academic thinkers discoursing on the same subjects. It was inspired by my encounters with photographers in Luanda (particularly Rui Magalhães), in 2020, and by the essays and podcasts of African Mobilities 2.0, Circulation and Cartographies (July 14 - October 9, 2020) curated by Dr. Mpho Matsipa, as well as the 2021 season of WISER concept-based podcasts and transcripts on Eight ways to think Unsettlement. It aims to localize the discourse of documentary and street photography within the realms of decolonial imagery and image-making processes. This project is intended to grow as other curators researching photography and photographic archives in other cities in Africa and the African Diasporas join the conversation."

Thebe Phetogo (*1993 in Serowe, Botswana) is a painter currently living and working in Gaborone, Botswana. He obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art in 2017 and a Master of Fine Arts with distinction in 2019 from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, South Africa. To date, Phetogo has had two solo exhibitions in South Africa and Nigeria as well as participating in several group exhibitions in Botswana and South Africa. Phetogo was a 2019 Cassirer Welz Award finalist, a 2020 Emerging Painting Invitational Prize finalist and participated in the Arthouse Foundation residency in Lagos, Nigeria in early 2020. Thebe Phetogo is also a founding member of The Botswana Pavilion artist collective.

Publication: Tila Likunzi's Towards a City – Possibilities in Inner-City Johannesburg and Luanda is online available here.

Daniela Leykam
Programme Manager Arts & Culture