Sculptor in Prison

Pitika Ntuli
01 Jun 1980

First Published June 1, 1980 Research Article https://doi.org/10.1080/03064228008533067 Pitika Ntuli is a 38-year-old South African artist, sculptor and poet who has been living and working in London since his release from the maximum security death cells of the Matsapa Central Prison in Swaziland (see Brief Report, Index on Censorship 1/1979). Ntuli, who had been living in exile in Swaziland from 1963 up to the time of his arrest on 7 April 1978, was formerly artistic chairman of the Pan-Africanist Congress of South Africa, in Nigeria.

Projects

In Swaziland, he established an art workshop for musicians, poets and visual artists. His work has been exhibited at several galleries and cultural centres in New York and was shown at FESTAC in Nigeria. Last October he participated in Amnesty International's first sculpture exhibition, ‘The Freedom of the Spirit’. Two manuscripts of a novel and poems which Pitika Ntuli wrote in prison, have been confiscated by the Swazi prison authorities.

In this interview with Ahmed Rajab he talks about his imprisonment, his work, and the predicament of artists in repressive societies.