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 both Cape Town and Johannesburg, most notably at The Orbit Jazz Club, Littlegig, 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, Boeta Gee, DJ Kenzhero, & Andrew Ashong. 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.
Interview - Red Bull Music, April 2018
Review, Art Throb, December 2017
Feature, Mail & Guardian, July 2017
Feature, MIXED SPACE, Design Indaba, May 2017
Feature, SOFT, Design Indaba, May 2017
Undercover DJs Feature, Between 10 and 5, April 2017
Feature, Between 10 and 5, October 2016
Interview in 20 Awesome Women, Cosmopolitan SA, August 2016. Vol 33, No 6