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StArt Art Gallery to collaborate with artist Tjonga this year

StArt Art Gallery to collaborate with artist Tjonga this year

The StArt Art Gallery recently introduced, Uerimuna Bewise Tjonga as the first artist they will collaborate and work with during this year.

StArt Art Gallery is an independent gallery with an online platform and a physical presence in Namibia and abroad through pop-up exhibitions, markets and art fairs. The gallery opened their doors to the public in Windhoek in late September 2017 and have worked closely with artists to facilitate the development of their artistic and professional practice ever since.

Tjonga works predominantly with themes concerning marginalised communities, from sexuality to rare skin conditions.

Tjonga said she sees her work as taking on an activist role and that through her work she would like to make a difference. “I produce my art in response to the experiences I come across in the day to day life especially the struggles of women.” she added.

She explained that women struggle with rare skin conditions such as acne, freckles, vitiligo and increased facial hair sometimes caused by PCOS. “My work is also all abut the issues we face including feminism, human trafficking and rape and I feel like we are more focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, which is not a bad thing but, we tend to pay less attention to other issues as a result.” she said.

She made an example of how in this pandemic it seems like more people have gone missing and she would like to use her work to express how this hurts, and makes people live in fear of being the next victim.

“Through my work I would like to increase public awareness of feminism, human trafficking and to express what women/trafficking victims go through day to day, because these are very serous issues and have been for years now,” she emphasised.

Tjonga expressed that traffickers have exploited victims from Namibia in sex and labour trafficking, including domestic servitude and agricultural work on private farms.

“Through my work I would like to make a difference, if not for my generation for the generation after me, changing one person’s life means a lot to me mostly when my artwork is involved,” she concluded.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.