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"Imbizo Ka Mafavuke / Mafavuke's Tribunal"

debate #3
discussion + film screening

April 6, 2022

"Imbizo Ka Mafavuke / Mafavuke's Tribunal"
Mafavuke, an indigenous healer from South Africa who in 1940 stood trial for mixing European ingredients in his formulations, travels through time into our present to take on the pharmaceutical industry’s appropriation of indigenous knowledge. Imbizo Ka Mafavuke (Mafavuke’s Tribunal) is an experimental documentary set at the edge of a nature reserve in Johannesburg.

A kind of Brechtian ‘Lehrstück’, the film shows the preparations for a people’s tribunal where traditional healers, activists and lawyers come together to ask who benefits when plants become pharmaceuticals, given multiple claims to ownership, priority, locality and appropriation.
And of course, ghosts of colonial explorers need to be reckoned with at the same time in order to imagine future scenarios and frameworks.

The 3rd X-Centric Futures debate with the screening of Uriel Orlow's film takes place on April 6th.​

X-Centric Futures is part of the monthly cycle We'd like to add and is organised by Giovanbattista Tusa and Bartholomew Ryan in collaboration with the CultureLab of the Institute of Philosophy of Nova and Carpintarias de São Lázaro Cultural Centre.

Uriel Orlow's practice is research-based, process-oriented and often in dialogue with other disciplines. Projects emerge out of concerns with residues of colonialism, spatial manifestations of memory, social and ecological justice, blind spots of representation and plants as political actors. His multi-media installations focus on specific locations, micro-histories and forms of haunting.

Current exhibitions include British Art Show 9 , Wolverhampton; 2077 , Kathmandu Triennale; Butterflies frolicking in the mud , Thailand Biennale; Terra Nostra , Mor Charpentier Bogotá. Recent solo exhibitions include Kunsthalle Nairs (2021), La Loge, Brussels; State of Concept , Athens (both 2020), Kunsthalle Mainz (2019-2020), Tabakalera , San Sebastian and Villa Romana Florence (2019), Kunsthalle St Gallen , Market Photo Workshop Johannesburg and Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers Paris (2018). Uriel Orlow’s work has also been presented at major survey exhibitions including the 54th Venice Biennale, Manifesta 9 & 12, VI Lubumbashi Biennale, 13th Sharjah Biennale, 7th Moscow Biennale, 8th Mercosur Biennale, Aichi Triennale and Bergen, among others. Monograph publications include Conversing with Leaves (Archive Books, 2020), Soil Affinities (Shelter Press, 2019) and Theatrum Botanicum (Sternberg Press, 2018).

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