Lerato Shadi, Batho ba ha ba tlhaloganye, 2019 (Installation view, ifa Galerie, Berlin), Photo: Victoria Tomaschko
The works of Lerato Shadi revolve around violence, a centuries-long history of contempt and incapacitation that has not been witnessed in any historiography; because those who have experienced this violence are not the ones who wrote this history. It is not about women’s rights and struggles and white feminism, but rather about the erased lives of black women whose voices have been silenced, who have never been able to bear witness. Her wall work in the ifa-Galerie Berlin is about the institutionalized systems of inclusion and exclusion. She physically attacks the institution by knocking the sentence Who is “not” included in the structures of this institution out of its walls. The title of her work: “Batho Ba Ha Ba Tlhaloganye” is – like all her work titles – written in Sets-wana, her mother tongue. It is not translated, as it is addressed to people who probably do not even hear the question of the work itself in this institutional space.