The Federated Union of Black Artists (FUBA) was established in 1978 to support black artists and a played pivotal role in training and advancing many careers, at a time when apartheid dispensation allowed for few other alternatives. In 1948 apartheid became the legal structure in South Africa. All aspects of social life became segregated and legislated. Black South Africans were barred from whites only educational institutions. The Bantu Education Act of 1953 is generally seen as a measure directed at downgrading schooling for black youth to restrict them to the unskilled labour market.
FUBA provided an alternative for aspirant black artists, its legacy is evident in the significant list of students and lectures associated with the centre, including the likes of David Koloane (FUBA’s first curator), Durant Sihali and Bongiwe Dhlomo - renowned figures of 20th century South African art.
FUBA’s considerable legacy and its influence on the development of late 20th Century South African Art, such as the Resistance Art movement, is an important part of South Africa’s cultural history. JAG’s FUBA archive represents a significant contribution to the Centre’s legacy, and is of important historical or cultural significance to South Africa. Lack of municipal funding, JAG’s main source of financial support, however means that much of the archive is in danger of deterioration. Insufficient storage and much needed preservation and restoration poses the greatest threat.
Artefacts and documents from the FUBA archives form an important partner piece to the The Evidence of Things Not Seen exhibition, and will provide the public a rare insight into this important historical resource.