Sragow Gallery represents a series of black and white linocuts from a printmaking workshop in South Africa. The workshop is sponsored by the Egazini Outreach Project – a community based art, cultural and heritage center in Grahamstown. Through these prints the artists are spreading the message of their recently rediscovered history. The artists are from the Xhosa speaking people of the Eastern Cape. Their imagery includes Grahamstown history. Some of the prints depict their struggle and fight against colonial domination and oppression by the British.
These very powerful linocuts give the viewer a glimpse of how life was and how it is today.
Some of the images depict life in the ghettos, on farms and in villages, socializing in churches, in cafes and on the streets. There is a similarity between these prints and those done during the 1930s and 1940s in the U.S. during the WPA, and in Mexico at the Taller de Grafica Popular. Through their social and political images, artists were speaking for people who could not speak for themselves. Prints created in the workshop are generating community-based income, thus helping to restore the pride and dignity of those communities so that they may actively participate in the development of South Africa’s social, economic and political aims.