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Female-focussed SA brands team up to launch intriguing art award

Motlhoki Nono, one of our top twelve finalists for the #ANNAAward2022. Picture: @latitudes.online/Instagram

Motlhoki Nono, one of our top twelve finalists for the #ANNAAward2022. Picture: @latitudes.online/Instagram

Published Aug 1, 2022

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Leading the charge in developing ecologically friendly sanitary care is ANNA, South Africa's first locally manufactured, eco-friendly, and organic menstrual product line.

Latitudes is an online gallery where you explore and purchase modern African art.

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The website combines works of art displayed by galleries, curators, studios, non-profit organisations, and independent artists with a constantly-changing, well curated selection of art from the continent and the diaspora.

Latitudes, the first platform of its kind devoted to African art, was created with the goal of assisting collectors in discovering creativity from the continent in a welcoming and accessible way. With more than 1 000 artists represented, Latitudes is rapidly becoming the most popular online gallery for African art.

Latitudes is passionate about identifying and nurturing new talent, it launched an education programme last year, which has mentored and benefited over 80 South African creatives.

Juanita Kotzé, creative director of ANNA – Pure Organic Pads and Liners South Africa, believes the launch of this award is the next step in ANNA’s mission to embolden and empower women. “ANNA is about liberation, belonging, sustainability and truth, and I can’t think of a better way to share and express this ethos than through the creation and celebration of art.”

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Out of the 618 submissions submitted, Latitudes co-founder Roberta Coci says they “proved beyond doubt that there is a wealth of talent waiting to be unlocked in this country.”

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Simply going through the 12 final artists sent my nerves into overdrive, I can only imagine the selection process up to this point. Hemali Khoosal, one of the ANNA award finalists, spoke with IOL about her ambitions and what the platform means to her.

“For me, the ANNA Award is synonymous with possibilities. On a personal level, being selected as a finalist has added to the focus, self-assurance, and optimism I am cultivating in myself and my approach to making art. Cultivating this is an ongoing journey which will empower me to empower others.

“Many women of colour do not have the support to pursue art professionally. I have a soft spot for this since it took me a while to find my place in this industry, so I genuinely hope I can change that for others! Being a finalist for the award represents an opportunity to help me do this.

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“If I were to win the ANNA Award, I would be able to devote more time and resources to meaningful and uplifting work, as well as relentless experimentation."

The winner will be announced on August 10. The top 12 finalists are: Hemali Khoosal, Sinal Ngcaba, Solina Tewolde, Nadine Mthenjwa, Lerato Nkosi, Charlae Baragwanath-Barter, Fiona Davhana, Farhana Jacobs, Mbali Tshabalala, Gugulethu Mnguni, Mthloki Nono and Thembi Mthembu.

The winner will receive a R100 000 cash prize from ANNA, a month residency at PLAAS #inplaasvan inFranschhoek, South Africa, a profile on Latitudes Online, and a year’s supply of ANNA products.

Their winning artwork will be included in the ANNA Awards Collection. What’s more, 12 finalists will be presented to the Latitudes audience, who will vote for an Audience Award winner.

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