'Free language and free culture' 302 x 300, linocut
|"Everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice", is a clause of particular importance in the context of South Africa's rich diversity of cultures and languages. The celebration of this variety, and the coming together of the different cultures is what Thami Jali sees as the essence of this clause, holding the promise of a brighter future for our country. Three women - one white, one black and one Indian - gather under an umbrella, symbol of unity, in the foreground, while on the left another group of people is dancing and rejoicing. Likewise, the architectural prop in the background, projects a cross-cultural image by merging elements of Islamic, Western, and African tradition.
Born in 1955 in Durban, where he presently lives, Thami Jali is currently working as a ceramicist but he is also well known as a painter, sculptor and graphic artist, working in a wide variety of media. He studied at Rorke's Drift Art Centre and later at Natal Technikon. He is presently artist-in-residence at Edgewood Teachers Training College, where he continues to share and develop the skills he learned at Rorke's Drift.