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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Social media sceptical of Minister Zizi Kodwa’s trip to Italy

The minister’s trip to Europe is seen as another shopping excursion by people on social media.

Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa is in Europe to attend the 18th International Architecture Exhibition to officially open the South African Pavillion, where South Africa has a slew of exhibitors, but some on social media see it as a shopping trip for the minister.

According to a statement from the ministry, South African architecture will examine “The Structure of a People” through the county’s pavillion at Biennale Architettura 2023, which runs from 20 May to 26 November 2023.

The department will host a party with Oskido to celebrate South African culture, tracing the journey from indigenous knowledge systems to amapiano and Friday’s press briefing and inauguration by the minister will have radio personality Tbo Touch as programme director.

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What is the Biennale Architettura?

Held every two years since its establishment in 1980, Biennale Architettura is often described as “the Olympics of architecture” and aims to propose and showcase architectural solutions to contemporary societal, humanistic, and technological issues.

South Africa has been participating in Art and Architecture Exhibitions of La Biennale di Venezia since 2011. The department obtained a permanent exhibition space in 2012 for a period of 20 years in the Arsenale building in Venice.

Every two years, the department participates in the architecture exhibition and in the alternative years in the visual arts exhibition.

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Themed The Laboratory of the Future, this year’s Biennale Architettura is curated by Ghanaian-Scottish architect Lesley Lokko. The South African Pavillion was conceptualised around the sub-theme of “The Structure of a People”. This integrates with the broader exhibition theme and seeks to evaluate the ways in which architecture has defined or impacted social structures, including how South Africa’s rich indigenous knowledge systems could hold solutions to global issues.

Meet the Mzansi curators

Three South African curators have been charged with conceptualising the 2023 South African Pavillion. The three Mzansi curators are Dr Sechaba Maape, an architect and the director of the design practice Afreetekture. He is also a senior lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) School of Architecture and Planning. Dr Emmanuel Nkambule, a senior lecturer in the Department of Architecture and Industrial Design at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and Stephen Steyn, a full-time lecturer and programme coordinator in the postgraduate programme in architecture at TUT’s Department of Architecture and Industrial Design.

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Minister Zizi Kodwa’s international trips

A few days ago Kodwa was in Bulgaria to attend the Consecration of the first Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Africa. Videos shared online show him making a presentation standing adjacent to Bulgarian President Rumen Radev.

On Wednesday, the minister was live on Metro FM’s drive time show with Tbo Touch.

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