ArtTalk 50/30 | Climate Action
ArtTalk / Olive Schreiner

The ArtTalk 50/30 series explores the deep existential questions humanity faces with key thinkers, artists and healers. This panel gathers indigenous knowledge keepers and climate activists to imagine solutions to the environmental crisis.


The world is careening towards environmental catastrophe as both corporate and political leaders continue to prioritise profits over the people and their futures. Our energy needs remain focused on mining for fossil fuels and off-shore prospecting for natural gases which threaten the very way of life of traditional communities while promising, in exchange, trickle-down jobs and devastated environments. 


The ArtTalk 50/30 Climate Action panel explores new forms of resistance and alternatives to extractivist capitalism which are rooted in indigenous knowledge systems and the biodiversity they encourage. The panel explores ways to decolonise our relationship to the land and indigenous plants and food as we reimagine solutions to the crisis by tapping into histories from which we have, over centuries of colonialism and apartheid, become partitioned from. The panel will also examine the role of art in climate activism.

Production Credits

Curators: Rucera Seethal and Niren Tolsi

Production Assistant: Shenka Naidoo

About the Artists

Sibabalwe Oscar Masinyana graduated with an LLB from the University of the Witswaterand and is a writer.


Ms Makoma Lekalakala is the Director of Earthlife Africa, an activist environmental justice organisation. She has been active in social movements tackling issues from gender and women’s rights issues, economic and environmental justice issues.  In recent years, she has focused on targeting environmental corruption. Her commitment to climate justice in South Africa has led civil society to win the first South African climate change legal case against the government and the reversal of the nuclear deal by SA and the Russian government of which she received the Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa 2018 and SAB Environmentalist of the year 2018 amongst other accolades. She has her roots as a liberation fighter and is a strong campaigner for a just and fair society. She is a Commissioner in the Presidential Climate Commission, a body tasked in advising the South African President on a process of a just transition to a low carbon economic development.


Mphatheleni Makaulule is an environmental activist and defender of the sacred sites. She was born when her father was 74 years old. Her father was a traditional healer, farmer and traditional leader. She is a founder of Mupo Foundation (now registered as Dzomo la Mupo). For more than 35 years She has been working with the Venda elders and youth, particularly women, for the transfer of indigenous knowledge to the younger generation. She calls elders her libraries of knowledge. In 2023 she obtained her master’s degree from University of Venda on African studies paying attention to indigenous knowledge perspectives on holistic indigenous uses of Luranga cucurbit pumpkin plant. In her research the findings revealed the interrelated functions of Luranga on the nourishments as food, material products used for multipurposes, ecological , spiritual and psychological identity associated with womanhood. She is working with communities on ecological mapping of the territories vulnerable to the planned project that interferes with the ecosystems, indigenous forests and the livelihoods rooted in African traditional cultural values.

  • Venue: Olive Schreiner
  • Location: Monument Building
  • Ticket price: ZAR 30.00
  • Programme type: Curated Programme
  • Genre: ArtTalk
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Ages: ALL AGES

There are no performances for this show.