Black Diasporas

National Exhibition Register

  • Black Diasporas exhibit
    Culture as Creative (Kholisile Dhliwayo) & Sandra Githinji Black Diasporas exhibit, 2022
    exhibition design for - video, sound
    Image Credit
    Videos by Ntombi Moyo, Abdalla Omar, Abdul Yusuf

About the exhibition

For decades stories about people of African heritage living in this city have been written as narratives that perpetuate the tropes of nefarious ‘gang members’[1] and ‘Magical Negros’ [2]. What is most dangerous about these narratives is the ways in which it distorts our perception of ourselves and other people of African heritage. The telling of stories has always been a political act, whether intentional or not. While we acknowledge there are people and experiences that exemplify ubiquitous narratives of tragedy or heroism associated with people of African descent, this project is made for us by us - as opposed to by others about us - providing more nuanced representation of the spectrum of experiences the majority of the 50,000+ [3] people of African heritage living in this city have. Everything from the joys of giving birth, playing as a child, to the mundaneness of catching a tram or bus, to the tragedy of the effects of racial stereotyping, and the loss of life. No project could entirely encapsulate the diversity of character, experience, and community, we can only begin to ask questions and provide a platform to hear directly from people of African heritage. Referencing oral narrative,[4] a common tradition throughout the African continent, in Black Diasporas Naarm Melbourne, we literally hear directly from people of African descent about their experiences. Life plays out in space and time manifesting in this project as a geolocated digital archive of interviews. The main aim of this exhibition is to create space for dialogue. As we reflect on our Black experiences on unceded Blak lands, we are encouraged to look beyond the idea of colony. Thinking of the Bla(c)k Power movement in Naarm,[5] what are the historical Bla(c)k links? How can these connections foster deeper understanding? How do we, as settlers of African descent, engage respectfully with Country, Community, Culture and Indigenous knowledge? References [1] Benier, Kathryn, Rebecca Wickes, and Claire Moran. “‘African Gangs’ in Australia: Perceptions of Race and Crime in Urban Neighbourhoods.” Journal of Criminology 54, no. 2 (June 2021): 220–38. [2] “One such commentor, K.Anthony Appiah (1993) defined the magical Negro as ”the noble good-hearted black man or woman “whose sense pulls the White character through crisis. Appiah labelled the helpful Black characters as “saints. “He further asserted that saintly Black characters are morally equivalent to their “normal White counterparts. P137-138 Glenn, Cerise L., and Landra J. Cunningham. “The Power of Black Magic: The Magical Negro and White Salvation in Film.” Journal of Black Studies 40, no. 2 (2009): 135–52. [3] Based on 2016 census data, NB* census data does not record ethnicity, the number of 50,000+ is based on place of birth, given that not all people of African heritage were born on the continent, we expect the number is higher than recorded in census data hence +. [4] Kalu, Anthonia. “African Literature and the Traditional Arts: Speaking Art, Molding Theory.” Research in African Literatures 31, no. 4 (2000): 48–62. [5] Yalinguth - A First Nations augmented audio tour on the streets of Fitzroy/Ngár-go.

Artists and Curator

Kholisile Dhliwayo

Shared stories: Alimba, Amanda, Amarachi, Amaryllis, Angela, Araba, Awale, Charity, Dozie, Esther, Eve, Fatuma, Hanad, Hope, Idil, Iremide, James, Jay, Joseph, Joshua, Kwame, Mahtut, Moey, Mohammed, Monica, Naa, Nana, Nanchok, Ntombi, Nyawarga, Phillipa, Ras-Samuel, Rutendo, Sarah, Saba, Scottnes, Simon, Simone, Stephen, Yasmin, and Yong for generously sharing their stories. Interviews conducted by: Chairmaine Hunzwi, Duaa Mahmoud, Guled Abdulwasi, Ivy Mutuku, Kalu Oji, Kholisile Dhliwayo, Naa Atswei Adjei, Pokuah Frimpong, Scottness Smith, Sandra Githinji, Rungano Muzondo, Zii Nziramasanga for directing and filming Abdalla Omar, Abdul Yusuf, Ansam Farag, Cerina Allotey, Daniel Niva, Gideon Wilonja, Ivy Mutuku, Kalu Oji, Lilah Benetti, Scottnes Smith, Titan Debirioun for directing and filming. for exhibition design Culture as Creative & Sandra Githinji Studio

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
14/08/2022 - 15/08/2023
Exhibition size
Between 50-75 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
No Vacancy Gallery
$10,000 (inc. freight) - Contact to discuss
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Audio Descriptions
Primary contact
Kholisile Dhliwayo