artist | researcher | selector


about / cv / press


image by Jamal Nxedlana for Bubblegum Club

Zara Julius is a multidisciplinary social practice artist, social researcher, and vinyl selector based in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a background in anthropology, religious studies and photography, her work is concerned with the relationship between aesthetics and culture, African futures, and the interplay of identity, faith, religion, urbanity, migration, race, and desire throughout Africa and its diaspora. Working with sound, video, performance and objects, Zara Julius’ practice involves the collection, selection and creation of archives through extensive research projects. Concerned with the ethics of representation, Zara’s use of co-productive methodologies help ensure her subject areas are triangulated. The bulk of Zara’s projects have focused on mapping the sonic and spiritual mobilities of religious rapture and rupture with congregants of syncretic religions, and on (post)apartheid narratives around race and place as they pertain to intimate archiving practices.

As a vinyl selector, Zara’s sets reflect her desire to travel land, seas and time. Her collection explores sounds from Africa and the Diaspora. She selects vinyl regularly in Southern Africa, most notably at The Orbit Jazz Club, MTN Bushfire, Rocking the Daisies and Red Bull Music Festival Johannesburg. In 2017, Zara toured London, being hosted by Touching Bass, Balamii radio, Hoxton FM, and Total Refreshment Centre. She has played alongside artists such as Nubya Garcia, Madala Kunene, The Brother Moves On, Shabaka Hutchings, BLK JKS, DJ Kenzhero, Andrew Ashong & DJ Spinna. Zara has also gigged in Cuba and Colombia. In 2017, Zara created KONJO with Paul WaxOn - a recurring live music event where she curates parties with a Pan African focus.

Whilst Zara’s practice straddles the art and academic spheres, the common thread is the creation of conceptual/aesthetic/sonic/interpersonal/political links throughout Africa and its diaspora in the Global south.