'Do it Like this!' at Regions A-G, 2013, chalk, Johannesburg Public Library.
‘Do it Like This!’ is an on-going collaborative project initiated by artist Mbali Khoza and myself, in 2013. We were invited to participate in the Regions A-G exhibition at the Johannesburg Public Library. For our contribution, we used the walls of a public theatre for a text-based installation, motivated by our engagement with an archaic,South African literary publication, Fanagalo Phrasebook, Grammar and Dictionary written by J.D. Bold in 1958.
The text-installation comprised a hand-written list transcribed in chalk onto the theatre walls of personal statements and instructions relating to our experiences of the language. We wrote our text onto the walls of the theatre in English (yellow chalk) and Zulu (red chalk)and Fanakalo (white chalk). While the red and yellow chalk texts were equally comprehensive in their translations of each other, the white chalk was predominantly present through a signifier of absence. Empty parentheses ( ) were used in place of missing words, ultimately demonstrating the futility of Fanakalo as a comprehensive linguistic interface between Zulu and English.