• Written by  J. Dlamini -
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Widows given a voice - News24 article about Marikana Widows Art Exhibition at UFS

One of the paintings created by the Marikana widows One of the paintings created by the Marikana widows Image: Khulumani Support Group

“WE also want Nkandla in our homes,” a bold statement on one of the artworks painted by the widows of Marikana.

The art collection was created in an attempt to give the widows of Marikana a voice following the senseless killing of 34 mine workers at Marikana on 16 August 2012.

Themed Speaking wounds: voices of Marikana widows through art and narrative, the widows’ paintings and stories of their journey through grief will be showcased at the University of the Free State (UFS) for the entire week.

The national director of the Khulumani Support Group, Dr Majorie Jobson, said the organisation introduced the widows to the transformative power of art and storytelling.

This was the last instalment of the vice chancellor’s lecture series on trauma, memory and representations of the past for this year.

Jobson said the families of those slain in the massacre that had astounded the country had not been given an opportunity to participate in the Farlam Commission dialogue.

“The Farlam Commission failed the widows, the question is who gave the call for the mineworkers to be shot,” Jobson said.

The national organiser of the Khulumani Support Group, Nomarussia Walaza, told the newspaper pricing of the impres-sive artwork had not been finalised yet, because some of the paintings were group efforts.

According to Walaza, the intention is to sell the art exhibition consisting of painted body maps created by the widows and support the widows financially.

One of the widows of the massacre and artist of some of the paintings, Agnes Thelejane, said times had been hard since her husband, Johannes Thelejane (56), had been shot down during the Marikana massacre.

“I am struggling to heal because his death is clouded in lies from those who took his life,” said Agnes.

Agnes said the massacre is a gaping wound that refuses to heal

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