THE PEOPLE SHALL GOVERN! Medu Art Ensemble and the anti-apartheid poster, 1979-1985

: Byrd (A.) & Mings (F.) eds.

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157pp., 4to., b/w & colour illus., hardback, Chicago, 2020


With contributions by Antawan I. Byrd, Khwezi Gule, Ashraf Jamal, Felicia Mings, Mongane Wally Serote and Warren Siebrits

This book was preceded by an exhibition of the same title organised by the Art Institute of Chicago, April 27 to September 2, 2019.

In 1977, at the height of the anti-apartheid struggle, a group of South African cultural activists formed the collective known as Medu Art Ensemble. In 1978 members relocated to Gaborone, Botswana, where the collective comprised more than 60 visual artists, performers and writers, mostly from South Africa, although some were from Botswana, Canada, Cuba, Sweden and the USA. The word medu means "roots" in Sesotho.

The collective disbanded in 1985, following the South African Defence Force's raid on Gaberone, which resulted in the death of twelve people, including four Medu members.