89plus is an international, multi-platform research project focusing on the generation of innovators born in or after 1989. Manifesting itself through panel discussions, books, periodicals and exhibitions, the platform gives a voice to a new generation of artists, writers, designers, engineers and activists.
Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of the Serpentine Gallery in London, and Simon Castets, director and curator of the Swiss Institute, co-founded 89plus in 2013. Obrist and Castets shone a spotlight on South Africa's 89plus generation at Design Indaba Conference 2014, bringing together artists Haroon Gunn-Salie, Jody Brand, Victoria Wigzell, Kyla Philander and Bogosi Sekhukhuni to present their work and including panelist Missla Libsekal, founder of Another Africa.
For Obrist, the platform provides a space to discover a generation that grew up with the Internet and explore how the medium affects their creative output.
One of the most important aspects is that 89plus is not solely focussed on visual arts but embraces varied practices such as writing, poetry, design, architecture, activism, mathematics and technology, says Castets.
The five emerging talents all spoke about their concern of an erased history and how it should be accounted for, sharing a common desire to be active participants in writing their own history.
"89plus and the panel discussion [at Design Indaba] is what half of the world’s population is speaking about," notes Libsekal.