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Sabelo Mcinziba

mcinza Sabelo Mcinziba

Short Bio

Sabelo Mcinziba is a researcher preoccupied with the question of the Human throughout history. His intellectual work is inter-, multi-, and transdisciplinary in service of a set of questions that come together when thinking about the human. These include the question of power, violence, trauma, land, death, freedom, aesthetics, space, modernity, identity, heritage, memory, etc. 
He curates audience-participatory and collaborative walking tours in urban and rural settings. The narration method forms intersections between history and the philosophies that shape the past and the present. The tours are an invitation to study how the same patterns are expressed through path dependence and historical recurrence. He is committed to intellectual work that rehumanizes the dehumanized by imagining alternative Afro futures.


Project Description

I curate this photo-essay exhibition With These Hands to tell people’s life stories through the medium of hands as narrative portals. Participants’ hands are photographed, followed by an interview for the text. With These Hands creates a space for people to tell their stories on their considerations they deem important activities that they have done with their hands. This agentic shift in historic focus brings awareness to the power ordinary people can exercise with their hands in determining lives, their own and those of others impacted by the actions of their hands, near and far. The ambitious goal is to tell the story of humanity from unusual and often taken-for-granted vantage points. Hands as a medium at a micro bodily level, graphically narrate questions we grapple with institutionally at national and global levels. Hands can narrate stories that give us rare insights into questions of gender, race and class – their intersections and crossovers. Hands are often an “unthought” for a lot of people but when consciousness is called upon them, they can illuminate our respective positionalities in the world and how we change and reproduce worlds. Interviews reveal an appreciation people have of themselves when their agency in the human story is centred. People recognise their hands as heritage channels from great-, grand- and parents that have moulded them, other family, friends, neighbours and even strangers. Participants are drawn from all walks of life with this particular installation focusing on South Africa and Germany as countries with difficult histories.

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