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In the conclusion of his book Banal Nationalism (London: Sage, 1995, p. 177), Michael Billig writes: ‘If the future remains uncertain we know the past history of nationalism. And that should be sufficient to encourage a habit of watchful suspicion’. This warning has perhaps never been more relevant than in the second decade of the new millennium, which has been characterised by a marked turn towards right-wing populism and nationalism. Click here to find out more.


Visit Our Virtual Exhibition


Current Exhibitions

September 1, 2021 - November 30, 2021

In keeping with a long-standing tradition of telling momentous histories through embroidery that was made famous through the Bayeux Tapestry, this series of embroideries documents and commemorates the challenges, tragedies and other South African stories which unfolded in 2020.

Click here to find out more.


Visit our vitual exhibition


Past Exhibitions

At SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, our (virtual) walls are always filled with inspiring artwork. If you’re interested in contacting any artist we’ve represented in the past, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Making and Interpreting Art 2021

May 30, 2021 - August 31, 2021

Making and Interpreting Art in 2021 brings together current work by postgraduates and artists in Southern Africa as they explore and contend with many of the urgent issues of our times.

This virtual conference and exhibition, focusing exclusively on Honours and Masters’ students in the Visual Arts and Art History, is hosted by postgraduates and postdoctoral research fellows with the NRF Research Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Click to visit online exhibition.

Carola Friess_RePaired Disparities_mixed media_var.dimension 2.jpg

Visit our virtual exhibition



Professor Brenda Schmahmann

Prof Brenda Schmahmann is the South African Research Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture (or the SARChI Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture). Hosted by the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) and integrated with its work, this prestigious position is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and administered by the National Research Foundation (NRF). 

The SARChI Research Chair serves as a forum for initiatives in research by not only Prof Schmahmann but also postdoctoral fellows, postgraduate students and others working with her.

The spacious facilities of the SARChI Chair, including a small art gallery, are located at 33 Twickenham Avenue, Auckland Park, 2092 (opposite UJ Kingsway Campus). 

The SARChI Chair hosts annual conferences as well as exhibitions and events.


Visit Us Online

Due to the pandemic we are currently having virtual exhibitions. Check out our virtual gallery and experience the artwork in a new way.



33 Twickenham Avenue, Auckland Park, Johannesburg


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