Art: Nonhlanhla Mahlindza, Mom Is Dad, Dad Is Mom, 2014

By |January 4th, 2019|Country: |
Nonhlanhla Mahlindza, “Mom is Dad, Dad is Mom”, review⠀


There isn’t a wealth of visual art from Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, on the internet but I found this 2015 Kickstarter campaign led by artist Mari Gardner to collect together artworks by local woman on the subjects of gender-based violence, inequality and HIV. The campaign was successful and is now stemming into additional branches, as it looks from their facebook page. Through the campaign I have found more art from Eswatini, as presented by Yebo Art gallery, and I will definitely share more soon. But for now I remain taken by a work created by one of the participants of the art project: “Mom is Dad, Dad is Mom” by Nonhlanhla Mahlindza, is a musing on how women are made to play the roles of both parents when the fathers are absent. This is one of the most prominent sentiments of non-Western feminism today. In my native Russia there is a joke: “What’s wrong with same sex families? Most children in Russia are brought up by same sex couples anyway, a mother and a grandmother.” But I also like to be able to see it in this simple abstract rendering of gender difference merged not only a grievance with inequality but a promise of a genderless future.