Pro Sobopha | CV

b. 1967

“My work deals with a particular Xhosa ritual called ulwaluko (male initiation). The controversial debates, tensions, and conflicts around this practice, and their politics in contemporary South African visual discourseÑoften with racial undertonesÑhave provided the generative impulse for the production of the work. The work also deals with issues of identity and its representation, masculinity in particular. It is a manifestation that deals with and confronts the use, abuse, and ultimate “refuse” of the black body and its position/ing in the post-apartheid South African visual art arena, which is still dominated by artists of European descent.

My work is both a private and a public practice. It is a dialogue that I hope can move and translate from one context to anotherÑfrom the private to the public sphere, and from local to international art arenas where diverse cultures and experiences have a stake and can contribute.”

2001 MFA, University of Cape Town
1998 BA(FA),University of Cape Town

2000-2001 National Arts Council Bursary
1999-2001 Irma Stern Scholarship
1999 National Research Fund Scholarship

2002 Skins, Scars, Blankets and Blood, Association for Visual Arts Metropolitan Gallery, Cape Town

2001-2003 Spirit of the Place, traveling show (England, Wales & South Africa) 
1999 Michaelis School of Fine Art graduation exhibition, Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town 
1999 Unplugged # 5 Market Gallery, Johannesburg 
1999 Baxter Theatre Gallery, exhibited paintings for the Ikwezi Community Theatre 
1998 Michaelis School of Fine Art exhibition, Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town
1998 Deadlines, Center for African Studies Gallery, Univ. of Cape Town 
1998 Disnag, Slave Lodge, Cape Town

2002 Artist in residence, Bangor Museum and Gallery; artist’s presentation in North Wales 
2001 “Returning the Gaze: Cape Town One City Festival,” in: NKA, African Contemporary Art Journal: Number: 13/14 Spring/ Summer, 2001.
2001 Review of “Returning the Gaze” for see:,
2001 “Ubudoda: Images of Masculinity,” online review, see:
2000 Panelist, “Politics of Art: Race and Censorship,” debate at Michaelis School of Fine Art, Univ. of Cape Town
1999/2000 Seminars presented at Michaelis School of Fine Art, Univ. of Cape Town: “Imaging Circumcision Ritual: Problems of representation in contemporary South Africa,” and “The Black Body and the Ritual Practice: A form of representation.” 
1999 Presenter, postgraduate conference, Univ. of Western Cape: “From Ulwaluko to Circumcision: Ulwaluko is not circumcision and circumcision is not ulwaluko.”

2000 Lecturer (Drawing), Dept. of Architecture, Univ. of Cape Town 
1999 External Examiner (Painting), Community Arts Project, Cape Town 
1998-1999 Facilitator, art workshops for Fairheads School Competition at Sivuyile College of Education and Luhlaza Senior Secondary School, Western Cape
1998-1999 District Six Museum, Cape Town 
1998 Facilitator, Truth & Reconciliation Commission, Children’s Stories Mural, St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town
1998 Mural painting for the Tygerburg Hospital, Western Cape