Thero Makepe

Music from My Good Eye

This body of work is inspired by my grandfather, Hippolytus Mothopeng, who was a jazz musician performing in the 1960s and 1970s in Botswana after going into exile to escape apartheid South Africa in 1958. Significantly, by the time I was born in 1996, my grandfather had gone blind and he never physically saw me, but we shared a strong bond until he passed away in 2012. One of my grandfather’s dying wishes, was for one of his offspring to become a musician, which unfortunately never came to fruition. However, in my practice, I have aimed to create a sort of visual album in the form of a book for my grandfather and my maternal family. Music from My Good Eye is a body of work that addresses the history of musicality and activism in my family lineage. More than that, it is a visual and spiritual conversation between myself and my ancestors that communicates gratitude and empathy. Using various photographic languages, I have attempted to construct a non-linear narrative that shows my maternal family’s lasting kindredship despite all the effects of politics, resistance, history, migration, loss, and separation they have endured for over more than half a century.

© Thero Makepe

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