Arts & Entertainment
Woza Sisi Collective
Photographer and multimedia designer Dahlia Maubane, 35, is a co-founder and creative director who helps women artists working in urban spaces. Her photographic series on informal hairstylists in downtown Johannesburg gained international recognition and awards, most notably the inaugural Market Photo Workshop Alumnus award in 2018 as well as being a Loeries finalist in the social media category in 2020. Various iterations of Woza Sisi have been shown at the Joburg Photo Umbrella in 2014, in the Mahikeng city centre in 2017 and Lagos Photo festival, Nigeria, in 2018. Together with photographer Bongiwe Phakathi and curator Fulufhelo Mobadi, she led the founding of the Woza Sisi Collective, a female-led organisation dedicated to increasing opportunities for black women artists interested in photography. Dahlia was the photographer in residence at the 2012 International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg and participated in the inaugural Kampala Art Biennale in 2014. Dahlia has contributed to photo books for a number of contemporary photographers. Starting out with design work at the Market Photo Workshop in 2013, she mentors photographers from across the country. “With sustainable funding, organisations can provide spaces, knowledge or skills where artistic expression can be monetised and then the local economy will be stimulated,” she says.
- Matric (merit): National School of the Arts
- National Diploma (Multimedia): University of Johannesburg
- BTech Multimedia: University of Johannesburg
- Intermediate Course in Photography: Market Photo Workshop
- Masters in Fine Arts (cum laude): University of Johannesburg
Group Exhibition: (2018) Medium Time at the Lagos Photo Festival, Nigeria; recipient of the inaugural Market Photo Workshop Alumnus Award; first international solo exhibition, Woza Sisi, at OSCAM, Amsterdam, Netherlands. (2020) 2019-2020 Ampersand Foundation Fellowship and Residency. (2020) Loeries finalist in the social media category; launched The Daily Braid Project and gifted care packs for 15 women street hair stylists in Johannesburg through the Go Get Funding platform supported by Meals on Wheels. (2022) Solo exhibition, On Seeing and Being Seen, partial fulfilment for MTech Fine Arts degree in the Department of Visual Art, University of Johannesburg; Invited to join the prestigious Golden Key International Honour Society
In grade three, I mastered drawing the Mickey Mouse character. I used to sell or exchange the drawings with my friends. Behold, the art entrepreneur in me was born. I look back at that moment and realise how valuable my craft was. As a creative person, it’s difficult to know how much my art is worth. The financial benefits are not always instant, it’s a process, but I remain resilient and make sure that I put my best foot forward.
Keep going. “If you can make it through the night, there’s a brighter day, Everything will be alright if you hold on. It’s a struggle every day, gotta roll on.” — Tupac Shakur
I would like to see a country that prioritises arts and culture development, especially in regions that struggle with socio-economic challenges due to a lack of economic opportunities. With sustainable funding, organisations can provide spaces, knowledge or skills where artistic expression can be monetised and then the local economy will be stimulated. Essentially, a country that is conducive to entrepreneurship and business development.