Rubis Mécénat endowment fund celebrates ten years of its South African photography programme “Of Soul and Joy”
A new exhibition of work by Jabulani Dhlamini and Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo at PhotoSaintGermain festival will mark the initiative’s 10th anniversary
Launched in 2012 by Rubis Mécénat – the Rubis Group’s endowment fund – Of Soul and Joy is an ongoing socio-cultural initiative designed to bring photography skills and opportunities to young people in the township of Thokoza, South Africa. Over the past ten years, it has awarded almost 50 scholarships to promising new talent, facilitated over 100 workshops, and organised over 20 exhibitions both locally and abroad. Now, to mark this decade-long anniversary, the fund is unveiling an ambitious international exhibition – a show at PhotoSaintGermain festival in Paris by two photographers who met via the programme: Jabulani Dhlamini (b.1983) and Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo (b.1993).
Having first met through Of Soul and Joy as mentor and student, the two photographers developed a symbiotic creative relationship, and found mutual ground in the theme of memory. Titled iHubo – Whispers, the exhibition picks up on this shared interest, and interweaves the artists’ pictures in an overlapping narrative. ‘iHubo’ is a Zulu word, meaning ‘hymn’, and understood as a way of archiving history in the form of song. Here, that idea of oral tradition and rhythm is transformed into a visual experience.