Embodying a Queer, Pan-Africanist Approach to Spirituality

With Hybrid Spirit, Adejoke Tugbiyele proposes a visual language that explores the intimate connections between queerness, Indigenous African spirituality, and feminism.

October 29, 2020


Adejoke Tugbiyele manifests a “hybrid spirit” in her work, creating soulful, resilient sculpture-costumes, some of which are now on view in her online exhibition via the Melrose Gallery in Johannesburg. Tugbiyele’s works reference the formal qualities of umchayelo — Zulu grass brooms. These brooms conjure associations with the labor of women, who both craft and use them for domestic work. Umchayelo also evokes the pan-African religious practice of cleansing evil spirits, which are sometimes associated with queerness. Tugbiyele, a queer African feminist, repurposes the brooms in service of her eclectic perspective, embracing queerness alongside Indigenous African religions without separation.


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29 Oct 2020