‘Slaghuis’ is an Afrikaans word for butchery and a vernacular expression for a place of violence that had come to identify the tavern where I grew up. In the means of my wild search for relief and resolve I transform this space of trauma; the tavern, into my studio. Where I lay bare my anger and turmoil, and use the process of physically exerting myself on the tactile image as a method of catharsis.
The markings on the images also draw from the tavern having marked me, and the customers having marked the tavern. Not only am I continuing the chain of aftermaths but perhaps also fighting for and against their erasure. Caught between the discomforts of remembering and Ali Cobby Eckermann’s words: “ don’t forget ‘em story, night time tell ‘em to the kids, keep every story live”. The telling and retelling of my story consequently serves as a means of perpetual renewal.
Approximately 27 still images
Slaghuis is an Afrikaans word for a place of slaughter and an expression for a tavern where acts of violence were common. For the artist, who was born in 1993, slaghuis was not only the environment of his home, but also the slaughterhouse of a region with the highest crime rate in the world, reflecting the turbulent and confusing times in South Africa after apartheid, which was legally abolished in 1991 and completely abolished in 1994. This is a collection of works in which the young artist has reawakened and revived his own traumatic past and anger and distilled them as photographs.
|Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo (b. 1993) is a photographer based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He uses the shebeen run by his parents as a studio in which to investigate themes of first-hand and generational trauma, violence and memory.
Hlatshwayo was mentored by the photographer Jabulani Dhlamini and photography curator and educator John Fleetwood.
Hlatshwayo is represented by Photo:, Johannesburg.