Body map 11

CCAC #: 0377
Artwork title: Body map 11
Artist(s): Maria
Year made: 2002
Artwork type: Paper
Medium: Digital inkjet print on paper
Framed dimensions (in mm): 870 x 650
Artwork series: Long Life Project Body Maps
Source: Bought by the Artworks Committee from David Krut
Year acquired: 2004
Installation type: Movable artwork
Location area: On public display

In April 2001, Maria tested positive for HIV. She drew the virus' spots on her body and on her infant because she believed he was also HIV-positive. She also added the phrase "Talk about it, love life" as she felt that talking about this disease with others helped her emotionally, spiritually and even physically.

Maria's statement

Many people in Khayelitsha are finding out they are HIV positive. Jane has made beautiful paintings with everyone and I didn’t think I could but I have caught up to the same level. I have told you my terrible life but my painting tells my story another way. Right up to now with my child.

This is myself, my body with some marks.

I drew these dots on my baby too before I knew he was positive or thought he was positive. I drew him in the womb because at first he was having my antibodies. And I draw this one pineapple as I drew in my memory book because I grew up in the land of pineapples.

You can see these two red lines on my neck. I was cut by a sangoma. Actually in our tradition, when the lightning strike on somebody’s house, all these people in that area are called by the sangoma to do marks like this on the body so the lightning does not come again to that area.

I got AZT, 23 July to 27 August, before I go to the labour. I already had the name for my child, Zimbenathi (Be with us God). My main thought was that God must be with us so he can be negative but at nine months he tested positive and I decided to pray on the mountain of Zion where the headquarters of my church, ZCC, is. To pray that my child can be negative.

After returning from her Church, Maria retested her child and he tested negative. She disclosed her HIV status to her husband, began a computer course, was emerging as a leader in the group, and was looking forward to a longer and better life. In December 2002, on her way to her home village, the mini bus taxi she was in had a head on collision while overtaking a truck. Maria, Zimbenathi, and her husband were all burned to death. Her teenage daughter Luleka was thrown out the window and survived.

CCAC 428834

Photographer: Unrecorded
Photo copyright: Consult with CCT curatorial team

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NOTE: The process of photographing artworks in the CCAC is underway - we are currently working to improve image quality and display on the CMS but have included internal reference photos for identification purposes in the interim.