Teresa Kutala Firmino

‘History as presented is often biased and one-sided, so to get a better understanding, I reimagine my past in this so-called truth’

Teresa Kutala Firmino was born in Pomfret, a remote town in the North West province of South Africa where ex-Angolan soldiers who fought with South African forces in the South African Border War (1966-1989) were allocated to after the war. Her father later joined the South African Defence Force which resulted in Firmino spending her school years in Zeerust and Johannesburg before she went to the University of Witwatersrand where she obtained a Masters Degree in Fine Arts in 2018.

Firmino’s present narrative is contained in a broader theme that enquires into history. « History as presented is often biased and one-sided, so to get a better understanding I reimagine my past and in this so-called truth ». Personal memories and historical events are combined and presented in interior scenes that present themselves as both possibilities and invitations to reimagine history.

Firmino is also part of KutalaChopeto, a collective with fellow artist Helena Uahembe which they use as a vehicle to challenge and change some of the stereotypes presented in existing history narratives.


Masters in Fine Arts – University of the Witwatersrand


2016 Unisa School of Arts Conference. The History we are told not to Speak (The history of the Pomfret community)

2016 Black Portraitures iii. The Untold Story of the Pomfret Community.

Collective Exhibitions

2018 Kutala Chopeto (Exhibtion). The point of order

2017 Silences in between. Goodman Gallery, Cape Town.

2017 Nirox Sculpture Winter Fair. Johannesburg.

2017 The Centre of the less good idea season 1. Arts on Main, Johannesburg.

2017 South-South. Let us begin again. Goodman Gallery Cape Town.

2016 Boda Boda Lounge Project.

2016 Hybrid Culture. MB Studio, Pretoria

Individual Exhibitions and group shows

2019 Pseudo Restitition, World Art gallery, Cape Town

2019 Children of a Lesser God, Mmarthouse, Johannesburg

2019 The War At Home, Everard Read, Johannesburg

2019 Turbine Art Fair. World Art gallery, Cape Town

2019 Cape town Art fair. Everard Read gallery, Cape Town

2018 Emergence ,  Mmarthouse, Johannesburg

2018 Masters solo show: Pomfret community stories. Mmarthouse Johannesburg

2018 Thou art women. Mmarthouse, Johannesburg

2018 The people’s exchange. IDC gallery, Johannesburg

2018 Now and then. Trent gallery, Pretoria

2018 Protagonist: Artists in Response to Sexual Violence. Studio Fracture, Johannesburg

2015 14/15 exhibition, The Point Of Order, Johannesburg

2014 The African Utopia lecture series, University of Witwatersrand  Johannesburg


Interview by Pes descalcos

The war at home