Religion and spirituality are two of the most controversial topics throughout different corners of the world, but more so in the African continent. When it comes to religion and spirituality, two of the most adhered to religions in Africa are Christianity and Islam but there’s also African traditional spirituality that people follow religiously.
Zion is a short film by Soweto-born storyteller Tshepang Mothabisa known mainly as Fro Sana in collaboration with four more polished creative beings; Ntate Phakela, Keneilwe Mothoa, Snalo Ngcaba, Rad Flower, 1454 and Lucid Stevens. Titled Zion, this short film is a celebration of religion and spirituality, but also tackles the controversies and the uncomfortable discourses around religion.
Sanaa travelled to different parts and corners of the country and to one of our neighboring countries (Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lesotho, Vaal, Soweto, Vosloorus, Fleurhof, Glenhazel and Naturena) in search of churches, religious leaders and religious groups and individuals in order to study each religion and African spiritualities thoroughly.
The short film follows a young girl who in her heart believes she was breastfed religion and was passed down the believing spirit by her mother and hence she’s a true believer in God and an unshakable religious person, but when her mother passes away she becomes lost and doesn’t know what to believe anymore. That’s when she goes on a quest to find out who God is and to find out if there really is a God.
The film extends beyond itself and invites other artists to depict significant moments in the film through their different art forms. We collaborated using different art practices to form a collection through this project. They express religion and/or spirituality through the mediums & these collaborations aim to shift the conversations and questions raised in the film beyond the cinema. – Sanaa Mothabisa