Interview with Mmabatho Thobejane – Publication Year 1

By Nilo Amlashi

Mmabatho Thobejane was the process leader and curator for the first year of Samlande tankar/Collecting Thoughts. She is also the editor of the publication that summarizes the first year of the project with presentations by Artists in Residency Afrang Nordlöf Malekian, a conversation between Artists in Residency Munish Wadhia and Art Historian Åsa Bharathi Larsson, and the Monthly Letters which Mmabatho published during the project year. Guest curator at Grafikens Hus, Nilo Amlashi, met Mmabatho for a recap of the project.

Nilo Amlashi: As the process leader and curator of the first out of the three-years planned for Samlande tankar/Collecting Thoughts could you tell us a bit about your experience?

Mmabatho Thobejane: For the first year, a big part of my job was kind of setting the ground for the next three years. And that meant meeting the participants and people who would be a big part of the project, such as the expert council, and in a way trying to get to know them individually, their professions and their interests in the project. And it was exciting to see how everyone was really interested in the opportunity of rethinking collecting and collections.

I also worked closely with the Artists in Residency, Afrang Nordlöf Malekian and Munish Wadhia. Working with their different contributions to the project was very interesting, as well. Afrang looked at Grafikens Hus’ archive of Penninglotteriet, and Munish looked at the history of printmaking, and its ties to nation building connected to racism and capitalism. It made me understand what printmaking can be and has been as a tool. It was so great to be amongst great thinkers who are interested in rethinking the world and actioning that out. I worked closely with Johnny Chang, who designed the visual identity for Samlande tankar/Collecting Thoughts, and also was the graphic designer for the year one publication. It was great to work with people who believed in the process as an end in itself. That gave so much to the project.

Nilo Amlashi: In just a few sentences, name some of your biggest takeaways from working with this project?

Mmabatho Thobejane: I think the biggest one, was the idea that we can rethink what we think is set in stone. And that together with others, we can also action that rethinking. It was very interesting to be in that kind of space, which I think Samlande tankar/Collecting Thought is, with the participants of the project.

Bild: Lisa Samuelsson

Samlande tankar/Collecting Thoughts
Project Year 1 (2021-2022)
Questioning, Investigating, Looking Back

Editor: Mmabatho Thobejane
Design: Johnny Chang
Grafikens Hus, 2022

For more info about the publication, visit the Konstshop here.