Beyond the Everyday: Subtle Forms of Resistance in the Work of Usha Seejarim

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Contemporary South African artist Usha Seejarim interrogates everyday social practices though using quotidian objects and documentary style videography to create her artworks. Through an analysis of the manner in which Seejarim engages with the everyday, this article explores the ways in which her artworks challenge gendered and racialised identity constructions in contemporary South Africa. I begin by showing how Seejarim draws attention to aspects of everyday activities that often go unnoticed and unquestioned. I then argue that her use of domestic objects to create sculptures challenges hegemonic constructions of feminine identity. This is followed by a discussion of how, through her video works Seejarim exposes the ways in which daily experience in South Africa continues to be marred by apartheid legacies of segregation. I conclude that Seejarim’s artworks can be understood as agents of social transformation because of how they enable audiences to think differently about the everyday.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-553
Number of pages14
JournalThird Text
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Alison Kearney
  • Usha Seejarim
  • Venus at Home
  • found objects
  • representing experience
  • resistance art
  • the everyday in art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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