Art & Culture

Murals with Edeltraut Rath

Since 2003, artistic exchange has formed an important and lively part of the association.
The Bremen artist Edeltraut Rath organized numerous joint projects. Both in Bremen and in Durban, wall paintings were designed and realized by artists from both cities.
Motif-wise the wall paintings carried out so far refer to patterns and ornaments, since this sign language is understood non-verbally in both cultures and connects people of different nationalities. In addition, this type of mural painting ties in with the art of the Ndebele and paintings in Lesotho, in which women artistically design exclusively with geometric forms and patterns.

2012 Bremen
Design of the Concordia Tunnel in Bremen/Germany together with the artists Nozipho Mbhele, Sthenjwa Luthuli, Mthobisi Maphumulo, Buhle Mbambo
2011 Durban
Design of the facades of the BAT Centre, Durban/South Africa together with the artists Xolile Mazibuko, Nozipho Mbhele Philani Luthuli, Sthenjwa Luthuli, Mthobisi Maphumulo, Buhle Mbambo, Sphephelo Mnguni, Newell Nisibande, Clive Sithole
2008 Bremen
Facade painting of the primary school at Alfred-Faust-Straße in Bremen/Germany, in cooperation with the South African artists Xolile Prudence Mazibuko, Xoliswa Khumalo Thulebona Newell Nsibande, Bonginkosi Nxumalo, Sibonelo Sizwe Myeni and Bonginkosi Jeffrey Dlamini.
2007 Durban
Painting of the Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre, Durban/South Africa, together with eight artists from the township Kwa Mashu.
2003 Bremen
Painting of the school centre and grammar school Obervieland, Bremen/Germany in cooperation with the artist Joseph Manana

Bremen Art Scholarship

The Bremen Art Scholarship is a scholarship for visual artists from Bremen’s twin cities and has been awarded jointly by the Bremische Bürgerschaft and the Bremer Heimstiftung since 2004. Besides Durban, Bremen has the following official twin cities: Gdansk (Poland), Riga (Latvia), Izmir (Turkey), Haifa (Israel), Dalian (China).
The fellowship offers the opportunity to get to know Bremen, its culture and its institutions, to make contacts and collect ideas for one’s own artistic work. The three-month stay will conclude with an exhibition in the Haus der Bürgerschaft. So far 51 artists from the twin cities have come to Bremen on the basis of the scholarship.
The curator Katerina Vatsella organizes and supervises the scholarship and has in recent years networked the Durban artists, including Malibongwe Shangase, Wonder Buhle Mbambo, Sthenjwa Luthuli, Sphephelo Mnguni and Khulekani Cele, with the Bremen Durban Town Twinning Association. The exchange between the artists and the members of the association creates friendships and ideas for future cooperation.

Bremer Kunststipendiat Sphephelo Mnguni

“The Bremer Kunststipendium is an incredibly important creative program I’m honored to have been a part of. I’ve never done an art residency before, and the 2019-2020 Kunststipendium was my first contemporary art scholarship.
The residency wasn’t difficult because of my good artist friend Edeltraut Rath whom I met in Durban, South Africa in 2010.
I met a number of artists and good people in Bremen, I also attend a lot of interesting exhibitions and artistic events of all sorts.The studio I was given by the residency is bigger than the one I have in Durban, which provided me a room to explore without spatial restrictions for my presentation which was supposed to be at the Bremen parliament.
I wish my presentation was in the evening so that people could attend the opening, but it took place in the morning instead and the venue wasn’t exactly an art space. But I’m grateful for everything regardless, I had a wonderful time.”
Sphephelo Mnguni

Internationales Symposium für Electronic Arts

In 2018 the renowned “International Symposium for Electronic Arts (ISEA)” took place for the first time on the African continent, namely in Durban. Bremen participants were media artist Lorenz Potthast and the artists’ group Tentvision of Marion Bösen, Patricia Lambertus and Jürgen Amthor. All three artists took part in the exhibition There are places I remember at the Durban Art Gallery in 2016.
After his work at the BAT Centre, Lorenz Potthast worked intensively on the internet connection between Bremen and Durban as part of his Master’s project in the Digital Media course at the HfK Bremen. In spring 2017 he undertook a three-week artistic research trip through South Africa. During this time, he conducted various researches and analyzed the data connection between Bremen and Durban with a self-programmed email server. He visited the cable station in Mtunzini, where the submarine SEACOM internet cable, which connects a large part of southern and eastern Africa with the internet, conducted interviews with various experts from the scientific and artistic field and spontaneously developed a contribution for an exhibition in the “TheOtherRoom” gallery together with local artists. He also met with Eric Aplegren, as well as Marcus Neustetter and Gabriella Peppas, the artistic directors of ISEA2018.
During ISEA, the Bremen artists exhibited various manifestations of their projects, participated in workshops and sought to exchange ideas with local artists.

Exhibitions and projects

2021 Bremen
for the 10th anniversary of the official town twinning, an exhibition of South African artists from Durban is planned in Bremen
2021 Durban
The artists Mari Lena Rapprich, Sara Förster and Astrid Hesse will carry out a 6-week research and working stay in Durban with their project “Dialogic Research
2016 Durban
“There are places I remember”, Durban Art Gallery
Large multimedia exhibition by 13 Bremen artists* on the subject of places of remembrance beyond the mainstream.
2011 Bremen
“NOW look at me”, Church of St. Stephani
Contemporary African art with graphics (from the project “Art for Humanity” by art professor Jan Jordaan from Durban/South Africa), photography, sculptures, objects and paintings by African artists such as Owusu-Ankomah, Kara Walker and others.
Curated and organized by Edeltraut Rath
2004 Durban
“Target”, KZNSA Gallery
Solo exhibition of the artist Edeltraut Rath