Images of defiance: South African anti-apartheid t-shirts

Time: Febuary 10, 2022, 12:00 Central European Time

Speaker: Dr. Avi Sooful (Pretoria/South Africa)

Moderation: Lea Frauenknecht and Roberta Huldisch 

View the lecture: Link

Context: Camp on Education Link


T-shirts became attire for the South Africa anti-apartheid masses during the 1980s as an interface of communication announcing resistance and protest. This lecture provides a reading of t-shirts worn by anti-apartheid activists that popularised political figures, slogans of protest and affiliations to banned political organisations. These t-shirts acted as an alternative platform and strategy of resistance believed to have the potential for political and social change similar to radio, newspapers and graffiti.


Avi Sooful is a senior lecturer of Fine Art at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She serves as President of the South African National Association for the Visual Arts and current Chair to the Exploring Visual Cultures Project. In her research she considers visuals and experiences of the apartheid era a rich area for investigation and knowledge generation. As a practicing artist, the notion of landscape occupies her work as both political and feminist images.