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2009 | Inspired By the Vibrancy of Ndebele People & Culture

2009 is a collaboration between Johannesburg based Creative Director Zana Masombuka and Photographer John Baloyi.

This project aims to explore the politics of “a seat at the table” and how capitalism and inequality inform the dynamics and rules of engagement within this institutional paradigm. It takes us on a journey, following a subject through their navigation of their conscious and subconscious life and the fears that exist in both realms. Secondly, the project aims to explore the complexities of indigenous cultures paralled with the modern world; and how this impacts the post-colonial world of the African in the 4th wave of globalization . Thirdly, the project aims to explore the price of representation and the importance of recognizing Africa’s heterogenous nature in the call for unity through representation. Lastly the project acts an invitation of a new idea of being, beyond the existence of current schools of thought.

The project title is inspired by YInMn Blue, which is a colour that was discovered in 2009, that will set tone of the project. This particular colour is used to exaggerate one of the official colours worn in traditional institutional corporate spaces, such as navy blue, grey etc in order to create a disillusionment of over industrialization and consumption paradigm. The project inverts these colours to create a dystopian feel about the idea of space and institutions operating within said space. Secondly, the different shades of blue used on the project are done to exaggerate the use of blue on the different social media platforms, which are becoming their own set of institutions; to talk about the evident anxieties that come with that. The aesthetic of the work is inspired by the emotive and vibrancy of the Ndebele people as well as the Ndebele culture.


Photography: John Baloyi

Creative Direction: Zana Masombuka


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