Coex’ae Qgam, also known as Dada, was a storyteller, dancer, painter and print-maker. She grew up and spent her life in the Nharo communities of the Kalahari Desert, and in her late fifties, became involved in the Kuru Art Project at D’Kar, in the Ghanzi District of Botswana. Her work as an artist was deeply rooted in her background, and features plants, animals and things she saw around her in D’Kar; but she also loved to travel, within Southern Africa and internationally, to speak to new audiences about her work, life and culture, and the challenges facing marginalised communities like hers.
I Don’t Know Why I Was Created is a biography of Dada, by visual artist Ann Gollifer and editor/teacher Jenny Egner. Both longtime residents of Botswana, they worked with Dada on the biography from 2002 until her death in 2008 at the age of 74. The completed book is a tribute to Dada, featuring her own words, and including the most complete catalogue of her works yet produced, as well as a complete list of exhibitions.
The book was launched in Gabarone, Botswana, on 24th September; its UK launch is at Bicha Gallery on Friday, to coincide with the date of Botswana’s 45th year of independence, and will be accompanied by an exhibition of work by Ann Mary Gollifer. More details here.
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