Established in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, in 1986, Imvaba Arts Association worked closely with artists in New Brighton, Kwazakhele and Motherwell townships of Port Elizabeth. It was a community organisation with the aim of promoting and assisting artists through workshops and exhibitions. It was formed during a time of extreme repression and under the State of Emergency.

Imvaba resisted the Apartheid regime through visual arts and creative writing, as well as heavily assisting in the production of banners and media for Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA). The association aligned itself with the Congress of South African Writers (COSAW) and other cultural organisations. In 1988, the first exhibition of Imvaba was held at the trade union offices on Perl Road, Kortsen, Port Elizabeth. During the 1990s, the group exhibited at the Grahamstown Festival (1990 and 1991), the Art from South Africa exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford (1990) as part of a greater UK tour and upon return at South African National Gallery (1991).

Imvaba’s members included:

Lou Alman, Michael Barry, Mxolisi Ganto, Sipho Kulati, Gavin Mabie, Naomi MacKay, Mpumelelo Melane, Sponono Nkopane, George Pemba, Liso Pemba, Titus Pemba, Annette du Plessis, Mxolisi Douglas Sapeta aka “Dolla.

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