How do we define what our collective history as South Africans and further as Africans is? Do we find commonalities in the names of the colonizers of our individual nations or in the similarities of our traditional practices and beliefs?

An exhibition that’s currently on at the Johannesburg Art Gallery called And Counting aims to discuss this topic and other related issues through the works of 13 artists from SA and Zambia. Curated by South African Tshegofasto Mabaso and Zambian Julia Taonga Kaseka, the exhibition will run until Sunday July 14.

Chatting to Mabaso, she explained that the exhibition’s title was born from a thought process that sought to explain South Africa’s 25 years of democracy and speak to the country’s relationship to Zambia.

“We were quite adamant in not wanting to do a nostalgic ‘we were friends during apartheid and you housed us’ charade. We wanted to kind of have a complex conversation about what that ally-ship meant then, and also how they could inform how we exist today. The phrase, is normally something that comes in the middle of a sentence, something that shows that a sentence is continuing, so that shows that relationship that’s continuing, but also because we were working with archives and these were the starting point of the exhibition, even though we did end up including commissioned work.”

“We want this to help people think about how archives are places that are constantly changing, where exhibitions are constantly being added to, so there’s this constant accumulation, and counting, of stories, etc,” she added.

And Counting is now on at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, until July 14. Free Admission: Tuesday - Sunday: 10am - 5pm.

For more information and full schedule: www.kauru.co.za