Nondumiso Hlwele, Thozama Ndevu, Noloyiso Balintulo, Ntombizodwa Somlayi, Bongiwe Mba, and Thobani Ncapai
The Group formed in 2002 to participate in the creation of memory books and boxes aimed to help people come to terms with their diagnosis, to disclose their HIV - status to their families and children and to begin the planning for the future. The group went on to work on the Longlife Project; The Longlife Project recorded the life stories of the women who were participating in a Medésins Sans Frontières (MSF) pilot antiretroviral programme. Life size body maps were created and published in the book Longlife: Positive HIV Stories together with interviews of people working on the project.
In June/July 2011 seven members of the Bambanani Group took part in a 3 day workshop to create bodymap images that will be done in mosaic at the nurses stations in some of the wards of the new Khayalitsha Hospital. This workshop was commissioned by Mark O Donavan (Odd Enjineers) and funded by the Department of Health and the Department of Public works.
The workshop provided the opportunity for members of the Bambanani Group and facilitator and developer of the Long Life bodymapping process, Jane Solomon, to work together again. Kali van der Merwe, layout designer and facilitator of the photography component of the Long Life book assisted.
In this workshop an adapted version of the initial bodymapping process (2002) was used as a way for participants to reflect on their lives, health, living with HIV and well being over the past 9 years and share this with the group in a safe space.
The group are also keen to share what they have learnt about ARVs with others by including this information on their bodymaps and possibly feeding this information into further research around ARVs in South Africa.
The workshop ended with a small exhibition (celebration) in the workspace.
Mosaic renditions of the bodymaps should be completed by the end of the year.
Sadly and unexpectedly Nomonde Khundayi passed away on the 13 May 2011. The group attended her burial on May 28 2011. It is as yet unclear what caused her death. Her passing away was a shock for the group and facilitators. If and where possible we would like to dedicate the work done in this workshop to her.
Nomonde was also very excited to be taking parting in Unlimited Global Alchemy, and as a tribute to her life and memory we will be celebrating Nomonde's life and spirit throughout our project and commission.