Mats Staub first came on residency to South Africa in December 2015 to investigate the possibility of developing a South African iteration of his project 21-Memories of Growing Up. During the course of 2016 and 2017 he worked closely with Maia Marie and Nomonde Mbusi to develop and present the global project as well as 21 Joburg version.
During this period he also worked with Waza Art in Lubumbashi to initiate 21 Congo with partners Patrick Mudekereza and Jackson Bukasa. The French version of 21 just premiered in Lausanne at theatre Vidy in the frame of the festival ‘Programme Commun’. There is an upcoming festival context in which the french version will be presented including a selection of Congo portraits.
Now, during May 2018, Mats travels to “lalela. a place of listening” in the Magaliesburg just outside of Johannesburg, to initiate his new project “Death and Birth in my Life”.
The project consists of series of filmed conversations, in which two people share stories with each other from their own experiences of death and birth. These conversations are not planned or scripted, participants are asked to simply listen to the other person’s story and react with a story that emerges from the listening. The project asks us to explore what happens when we listen to each other and share from the heart.
Currently the project is in a story collection phase and the details of how and when the project will be exhibited are still being determined. First conversations are planned in Switzerland, South Africa, the DRC and the UK, and first exhibitions could take place in 2019.