Russel Hlongwan

Performance Artist & Vice President Kwa Zulu Natal Society of Arts Gallery (KZNSA Gallery)


R ussel Hlongwane is a cultural producer based in Durban. His work is located at the intersection of Heritage/ Modernity and Culture/ Tradition, as it applies to various artistic disciplines. This includes cultural research, creative production and design, curatorship and creative economy.

Within the built environment, he worked on the Union of International Architects Durban 2014 and is currently undertaking a research project called ‘’ekhaya nomkhaya’’ with the Urban Futures Centre at Durban University of Technology. Hlongwane is also producing a trans-media project, The Black Aesthetic, which is an intergenerational discourse amongst black architects and the politics of identity associated with the practice of architecture.

His curatorial work includes co-curating the Beyond Binaries Pan-African exhibition, working with artists on the continent and the diaspora, plus he is undertaking two upcoming international exhibitions. His creative economy work includes the Goethe-Institut Cultural Entrepreneurship Hubs project as well as the DICE Funds for social entrepreneurship, which was used to connect social enterprises in the UK and South Africa.

Russel is member of the Creative Producers International, a cohort of creative producers from 15 cities across the world led by Watershed, a Bristol based lab.


Meet our advisors:

  • Shahidul Alam – Photographer, Activist & Founder Drik, Chobi Mela, & Majority World
  • Dounia Benslimane – Cofounder & director Racines Casablanca
  • Dr. Vishakha N. Desai – Special Advisor to the President of Columbia University
  • Susa Pop – Founder & Director Public Art Lab
  • Jamila Raqib – Specialist nonviolent action, executive director Albert Einstein Institution, fellow, MIT Media Lab
  • Cinta Watts – Creative director buró de innovación, Mexico City