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Body Maps

Ncedeka Mbune

2002, digital print on paper

Purchased by St. Olaf College Flaten Art Museum

Ncedeka Mbune was a mother from South Africa who is remembered for her gentle nature and warmth in her interactions. Tragically, Mbune received a false negative test result for HIV during her pregnancy and only learned of her HIV status as her daughter grew ill. Mbune’s daughter passed away in 1999 after contracting the undetected HIV. The series Body Maps was facilitated by Doctors Without Borders and aimed to uplift the voices of HIV positive women. Through her painting, Mbune relived her brief, cherished time with her child. In an interview for this piece, Mbune spoke about her yearning for another child and anticipated living a long life with the continued use of her medication. Although Mbune passed away in 2015 and may have succumbed to the HIV virus, her love for her child is very much still alive within her painting.

Natalia Granquist ‘21