Follow the journey and experiences of Thembela ‘Terra’ Dick as a young black photographer and filmmaker and member of the LGBTIAQ+ community in solo exhibition ‘Thembela’…
‘Thembela’ was curated by Bajabulile La Dhlamini Sidzumo, and is a body of work that speaks to the becoming of Terra, finding resonation with their identity without conforming to societal norms, dealing with loss, rejection and finding themselves within a queer family.
“Thembela Dick was born in 1986 in Cape Town and had to leave home at an early age because of the societal and family expectations that she could not meet and did not fit to their agenda because of their sexuality. She uses the camera to tell and document the stories of others and share their experience. In ‘Thembela’ series of the exhibited photographs depicts their journey (self portraits) and tells their story in visuals, focusing on overcoming, celebration of life (pride), struggles of others and society (protests) and share hope (ithemba) with other women as South Africa is celebrating women this day and for the month of August” – Bajabulile La Dhlamini Sidzumo
“The sound of my inner voice needed to be heard before I leave this world and what better way than doing what I love to tell my story. Using a Canon 6D Mark II camera to frame and capture different angles in portrait and landscape. I photograph myself first because I believe that there is no one who can do it better than myself. I also, document my family, friends and spaces that speak to me.
People who understand the struggles of being a woman and a LGBTIAQ+ person in South Africa will relate more to this body of work as I encapsulate these realities of my life. I believe that we are not limited in any kind of way when we dig inside our hearts. I take self-portraits mostly and I use landscape to give the viewers a sense of the space that I work in, usually it is everywhere I go. I photograph everything that speaks to me and the people that matter to me.
People describe my work in their own way that speaks to their past, present and future my work is about me and everyone whose story relates to mine. As a child; my journey was not easy at home, in my community and at school because I was considered ‘different’ because of my sexual orientation. Moreover, growing up in a home where the male figure is the one in charge was not easy at all having to conform to social pressures of how I should be or who I should be.
The work I create speaks a lot to my experiences as a Black Lesbian who grew up in a township where people like me who identify as LGBTIAQ+ get discriminated against and in extreme cases we are killed and raped. My work aims to contribute to the current narrative on Self Love/Body Positivity, Pride, Loss and Protest which are four themes that interconnect with my experiences and realities as a Black Lesbian woman.
I chose this body of work because of the pain I feel every day because of my existence as a Lesbian woman living in South Africa with its rampage hate towards women. Opening this show on the 9th of August 2019 makes it more symbolic to honour women who are no longer with us and to celebrate the resistance of many who are still alive. Our voices are not listened to as women in this country, our bodies are policed and our experiences are invalidated. This show aims to take the power back by claiming the space in this month to say; I am here, see me, acknowledge me and respect me and my fellow women and LGBTIAQ+ people. The influence behind my work is my own history, present life and my future. My eyes see, my heart feels and my camera captures because this is the way I know how to communicate my lived experiences and the best way I know how to tell my story.”
The exhibition will be open from Monday to Friday between 9AM and 5PM and Saturday between 10AM and 2PM, until 29th August 2019 at FORM, 56 Roeland Street Cape Town (opposite Raptor Room).
For more information on ‘Thembela’ or to purchase works, contact firstname.lastname@example.org