Anthea Moys vs The City of Grahamstown and the City of Geneva 2013-14

In 2013 I won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Performance Art in South Africa. In response to this award, the winning artists are awarded time and money to make work for the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown – a small city in the Eastern Cape. I wanted to create a work that responded to this place and that included the people that lived, worked, and played in Grahamstown. So, for three months I lived in Grahamstown and joined six different teams. I learned how to dance, sing, play the bag pipes for a battle reenactment society, play chess and soccer and got her yellow belt in karate. I then single-handedly challenged each team to their own game, ultimately losing each battle but still playing with utmost sincerity.


The main concept of the work attempted to reimagine winning. So – what if the process of learning was the winning? After Grahamstown, I went on to challenge the city of Geneva, lived there for 3 months and joined four teams: Swiss wrestling, alpine horn playing, velodrome cycling, and ice hockey, and then challenged each in four performances for the Antigel Festival in 2014.

This video documents my journey from Grahamstown to Geneva; and that re-imagines victory as the act of learning rather than conquest.

This project has been written about here