Artist and activist Lady Skollie is passionate about helping kids understand their human rights through art. She chats to Fundiswa Nkwanyana about it.
My artwork and activism goes hand in hand. I explore gender dynamics, relationship anxiety, the pressures of being a woman in the 21st century and about my own identity politics as a coloured and Khoisan South African. I also use art to speak out against the struggles that woman and children are facing.
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Speaking out against the violation of human rights is very important to me. I speak out against sexual violence, abuse and the oppression of women. As woman, I believe we have been conditioned to live our lives in a very limited way due to the continuous unaccountability of crimes against us, fear of rape, molestation and violence or being cut off financially if we dare talk about what qualms us. This is why; I use my artwork to speak out against all this.
Working with children is very close to my heart. For the Constitution Hill Human Rights Festival that was held earlier this year, I got the privilege to work with children alongside an NGO called Ntethelelo Foundation. We used applied drama and theatre techniques to facilitate dialogue for engagement across diverse communities. I enjoyed providing a helping hand and assisting them to unearth their artistic abilities. To see them do something they have been thinking or dreaming about is always a pleasure.
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I was very happy that the children’s artwork was on sale at Festival. The children visually interpreted their stories and they did performances based on human rights and about the violations they face on a daily basis in Alexandra, township. Attendees purchased their art pieces and the money went directly to the running costs of Ntethelelo Foundation.