Tandile Mbatsha is a performance artist, choreographic-activist, educator, speaker, host, producer, model and scholar based in Cape Town.
In their work Intyatyambo Iyaphuma Engxondorheni they seek to draw a parallel or liken the South African Black/ Brown Queer experience to a flower blooming on arid/dry land. Mbatsha is ultimately interested in the journey between the margin and the centre.
Holding the knowledge that LGBTIQ+ people are marginalised systemically, socio-economically and eventually killed in Africa. I use the isiXhosa metaphor 'Intyatyambo Iyaphuma Engxondorheni' as a mantra during this thesis work, specifically for this project. The phrase lends itself to inanimate objects found in nature. Intytyambo, a flower blooming on infertile/ unfavourable land, indxondorha in isiXhosa. The works seeks to draw a parallel or liken the South African Black/ Brown Queer experience to a flower blooming on arid/ dry land. The world feels harsh, generally. Having said that, there is Transphobia and Homophobia, a very specific venomous oppression towards transgender, femme, gender nonconforming and queer people. Nonetheless Queers have been working their way to the centre of society regardless of the atrocities. This project is interested in the journey between the margin and the centre and because the degree/ course asks for embodiment. I am using the elements of the earth, inserting myself in and around these objects, and where they are found and recording the body experience the terrain physical and viscerally. The precarity of our lives as Black and Brown Queer people is juxtaposed with the uncertainty of inserting one’s body in the objects found in the film.
Still image: Tandile Mbatsha on-set still for their MA medium project, Intyatyambo Iyaphuma Engxondorheni. Photograph courtesy of the artist.
Institute for Creative Arts
University of Cape Town
Private Bag X3