Earlier this month, the Voices of Women Museum (VoWM) launched their first digital exhibition entitled “There is no silence here”. After eight successful exhibitions in nine years across five provinces, the VoWM was liberated from the physical. This new online platform, made possible through funding from MTNSA Foundation, provides the opportunity to express the stories of women in a virtual exhibition space.
“We are entrusted with the histories, hopes and expectations of so many women,” says Coral Bijoux, curator and director at VoWM. “Situating the VoWM online seemed a necessary next step in the life of this living museum and resource, allowing us to reach a much broader audience.” Launching the exhibition, in August, so close to Women’s Day, further underlines the need to reflect on the progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of our countries, communities and families.
The virtual exhibition, in a specially designed virtual gallery from Ikonospace, captures conversations had between women of their lives and experiences, in stitched fabric story-cloths. “Text and textile weave together in a symbolic language conveying messages and stories of lives in forgotten spaces. There will be no silence here. To speak and share a moment in your life in this way is tantamount to power. There will be no forgetting here,” explains Bijoux. “All of these conversations, the memories, reflected in image, word and textile reverberate through these cyberwalls asking you to participate, not spectate…to take on the story; the message and carry it with you, if only for a moment.”
“This project is the culmination of a longstanding partnership with the VoWM,” says Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, General Manager: MTN SA Foundation. “This foray into the digital space solidifies MTN’s ambition to find digital and technological solutions that educate a broad audience on South Africa’s art, culture and heritage.
The exhibition will be live for all to experience from 11 August to 31 October 2021 on https://artspaces.kunstmatrix.com/en/exhibition/5591271/there-is-no-silence-here