The newly-invigorated Durban Art Gallery (DAG), in the Durban City Hall, is opening ‘Conversations We Do Not Have: Acquiescence’ – a collaborative exhibition to acknowledge Women’s month – on Friday, 9 August…
It uses as a starting point the beautiful narrative artwork panels currently being archived at the Phansi Museum which will form the core focus of the Amazwi Voices of Women Museum.
The exhibition also draws from the DAG’s permanent collection to enrich the conversations in different media across cultures and time.
“The notion of Acquiescence is at the very heart of the exhibition. It looks at issues of dignity, identity, healing and respect and references our past and in particular why we commemorate 9 August,” explains Bijoux. “We are hopeful that the exhibition has real potential to make a powerful statement about women.”
The exhibition will use a selection of the 3 000 narrative panels
The panels will be complemented by artwork chosen from the DAG permanent collection. Pieces selected from DAG include works by Virginia MacKenny, Faiza Galdhari, Mamatakane Makara, Lola Frost, Stainbank, Isolde Krans, Jane Alexander, and Jules Triquet – with pieces spanning the spectrum from 19th century oils-on-canvas to contemporary mixed media sculptures.
Interspersed with the art will be examples of iconic clothing items which are used to define women – such as Indian bridal wear, beaded pieces, burkas, and lace work.
The Amazwi Abesifazane – Voices of Women Museum will be based in the Valley of a Thousand Hills
“The Amazwi vision not only focuses on conserving women’s narratives and their accompanying artworks (there are about 3 000 currently), but to use these to create awareness, share and engage in discourse on women, gender issues, hopefully changing back the ‘voicelessness’ to ‘voice’ of women who are still largely dispossessed in a contemporary society, presented as democratic,” explains Bijoux.
“In a world where women and girls make up more than 50% of the population and where every three minutes a women or girl is raped, how can we not be proactive, speaking the unspeakable and daring ourselves to be the change? Art is a powerful medium that reaches into our minds, our psyche and speaks to our hearts. It’s there where I believe, change begins.”

Author: Team Talk