© DJ Invizable
Shield and Spear, Directed by Petter Ringbom, executive produced by Marquise Stillwell and produced by Alysa Nahmias, this feature documentary will be released in 2014 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of South Africa's first democratic election.

An artist paints a caricature of South African president Jacob Zuma that provokes a lawsuit, death threats and a massive street protest. An Afrikaans musician devises a stage character based on an archetypal African dictator to more freely comment on his community and his country. For a group of designers in Soweto, their fashion creations and style are manifestations of freedom. A photographer dedicates her life to documenting the LGBT community and exposing hate crimes that go unnoticed by the government and mainstream media. While one Johannesburg-based band is overtly political, another band makes a conscious decision to not deal with politics. Shield and Spear explores a constellation of stories about art, music, identity, race, and freedom of expression in South Africa, twenty years into democracy. 

The film documents what it’s like to live and work as an artist in this new democracy. It’s a story about what comes after the jubilation and celebration of a newly won freedom when you’re faced with the real complexities of being a “Rainbow Nation.” Shield and Spear explores the areas where art and politics intersect. It’s a film about creative identity in a place where issues of race, class and history are impossible to ignore.

© Hail To The Thief Exhibition Brett Murray
DJ Invizable is a Cape Town based DJ and performer who frequently collaborates with Xander Ferreira of Gazelle. DJ Invizavble describes himself as “a mythical being who travelled from a distant highland tribe. Advisor to The Imperial House Of Africa”.

Brett Murray
Artist, Cape Town
Referred to by critic Brenda Atkinson as "the dark prince of South African pop (art)", Murray is one of the country's most popular artists, often using easily recognizable media images with the addition of a subversive and bitterly funny twist. Murray's work addresses the wars of the cultures, the clash between Afrocentrism and Eurocentrism, and the old and the new South Africa.

In 2012, Murray exhibited a painting at the Goodman Gallery of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed. In May 2012, the African National Congress announced its intention to sue him for defamation for the painting and to force the gallery to remove it from exhibition, its website, and printed materials. Many public figures expressed outrage at the painting, and one church even called for Murray to be “stoned to death”.  http://www.brettmurray.co.za

© Abongile Matyila by Zanele Muholi

Zanele Muholi

Artist, Johannesburg
Zanele Muholi is a photographer and activist who documents the LGBT community and together with her organization Inkanyiso, she exposes hate crimes that are ignored by the government and mainstream media. The minister of Arts and Culture, Lulu Xingwana walked out of an exhibition that featured Muholi’s photography and publicly called it immoral, offensive, and going against nation-building.

Zanele was the 2013 recipient of the Index Award, a freedom of expression award described as “an extraordinary celebration of the courageous and determined individuals around the world who have stood up for free expression, often at great per
sonal risk".

© Jan-Henri Booyens
Jan-Henri Booyens
Artist, Cape Town
Jan-Henri Booyens is a contemporary abstract artis based in Cape Town. He's part of the Avant Car Guard collective.

© Smarteez - image by: jefflovesphotography
Designers, Soweto

The Smarteez is design collective based in Soweto that has garnered worldwide recognition for
their style and fashion creations. The core members are Thabo Tsatsinyane, Floyd Avenue, Sibu Sithole and Teekay Makwale. Fed up with the quality of education in their community, they run a free, daily after school program for kids.