'Committed to Memory: The Art of the Slave Ship Icon' book launch
May
10
6:00 PM18:00

'Committed to Memory: The Art of the Slave Ship Icon' book launch

In Conversation: Dr Cheryl Finley & Dr Nicola Cloete (HoD Art History, Wits)
With introductions by Prof Anthony Bogues

Join us at the Roving Bantu Kitchen for an evening of thoughtful discussion and good music as we celebrate VIAD RA Dr Cheryl Finley's remarkable new book, Committed to Memory. The Art of the Slave Ship Icon (Princeton University Press). Dr Nicola Cloete, HoD of Art History at Wits, will be in conversation with Dr Finley, discussing the book and its pertinence to histories of slavery in South Africa, and the multiple ways in which artists have sought to address and transform its violent legacies. 

"The Roving Bantu Kitchen is NOT a restaurant. It is an eatery, a living museum, a Kultural base showcasing and exhibiting all that it is to be African, and South African, past and present'

The ROVING BANTU KITCHEN
125 Caroline Street, Brixton
www.rovingbantu.co.za

BOOKS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR SALE
REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED

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About the book...



How an eighteenth-century engraving of a slave ship became a cultural icon of black resistance, identity, and remembrance.
 


One of the most iconic images of slavery is a schematic wood engraving depicting the human cargo hold of a slave ship. First published by British abolitionists in 1788, it exposed this widespread commercial practice for what it really was - shocking, immoral, barbaric, unimaginable. Printed as handbills and broadsides, the image Cheryl Finley has termed the "slave ship icon" was easily reproduced, and by the end of the eighteenth century it was circulating by the tens of thousands around the Atlantic rim. Committed to Memory provides the first in-depth look at how this artefact of the fight against slavery became an enduring symbol of black resistance, identity, and remembrance. 

Finley traces how the slave ship icon became a powerful tool in the hands of British and American abolitionists, and how its radical potential was rediscovered in the twentieth century by black artists, activists, writers, filmmakers, and curators. Finley offers provocative new insights into the works of Amiri Baraka, Romare Bearden, Betye Saar, and many others. She demonstrates how the icon was transformed into poetry, literature, visual art, sculpture, performance, and film - and became a medium through which diasporic Africans have reasserted their common identity and memorialized their ancestors.

Beautifully illustrated, Committed to Memory features works from around the world, taking readers from the United States and England to West Africa and the Caribbean. It shows how contemporary black artists and their allies have used this iconic eighteenth-century engraving to reflect on the trauma of slavery and come to terms with its legacy.
 

 “Stimulating and insightful. Finley hones in on the cultural and political strategies that have animated and illustrated the impact of the Atlantic slave trade.”
 
— Deborah Willis, author of Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present



 "An original and brilliantly conceived account of how the horrors of the transatlantic trade in human cargo have been visualized in art and culture over more than two centuries. Finley has written a nuanced and provocative book that leaves an imprint on one's mind as indelible as the slave ship icon itself."
 
— Kellie Jones, author of EyeMinded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art

 .

Cheryl Finley is Associate Professor of Art History at Cornell University and a curator, contemporary art critic and frequent essayist. She is the author of Committed to Memory: the Art of the Slave Ship Icon (Princeton UP, 2018) and My Soul Has Grown Deep: Black Art from the American South (Yale University Press, 2018). A specialist in the art market and African diaspora art history, Dr. Finley’s current research examines the global art economy, focusing on the relationship among artists, museums, biennials and migration in the book project, Black Market: Inside the Art World. Beginning fall 2019, she will be the Inaugural Distinguished Visiting Director of the Atlanta University Center Collective for the Study of Art History and Curatorial Studies. Dr Finley joined VIAD as a Research Associate in 2018. View her extended bio here.
 

For more information contact Nikita Keogotsitse: nikitak@uj.ac.za

Photograph: Gediyon Kife 

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AFTER FREEDOM? REPRESENTING HAITI IN LITERATURE AND ART
Nov
2
2:00 PM14:00

AFTER FREEDOM? REPRESENTING HAITI IN LITERATURE AND ART

UJ Dept of English Seminar

Prof. Bogues will be in conversation with Miami-based Haitian artist Edouard Duval-Carrié, in a session chaired by Dr Victoria J. Collis-Buthelezi. Reflecting on representations of Haiti in art and literature, a departure point for the discussion will be Alejo Carpentier's novel The Kingdom of this World (1949), and the associated notion of the 'Marvellous Real'.

Humanities Common Room
C-Ring 319
UJ Kingsway (APK) campus (directions)

Duval-Carrié's work will be presented in South Africa for the first time next year, in an exhibition curated by Prof Bogues, in collaboration with VIAD (May/June 2019).

Lunch will be served from 14h00.
Click HERE to RSVP

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Edouard Duval-Carrie was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1954. He was educated at the University of Loyola Montreal, Quebec, in Canada; and at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris in France. Duval- Carrie moved to Miami in 1992 and swiftly established himself as an integral factor in the city’s cultural fabric. Thorough his career Duval-Carrié has presented many solo exhibitions, among those, in 2014 he had a major one at Perez Art Miami Museum (PAMM). His works are part of the collections of important museums and institutions such as The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan; Musee des Art Africains et Oceaniens, Paris France; Davenport Museum of Art, Davenport, Iowa; Perez Art Museum Miami, Miami, Florida; Musee de Pantheon National Haitien, Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey (MARCO), Monterrey, Mexico; among others. In 2014 he was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the Consul General of France, Mr. Philippe Letrilliart.

Duval-Carrié’s work explores the social and historical aspects of Haitian culture. His imagery includes very often Vodou gods combined with aspects of classical mythology and Haiti’s national heroes, the typical fusion that characterizes the Caribbean. His images are visual examples of Magic Realism, portraying a world in which reality and mythology come hand in hand.

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BLACK CRITIQUE | Towards an alternative genealogy of critical thought
Oct
31
11:20 AM11:20

BLACK CRITIQUE | Towards an alternative genealogy of critical thought

UJ Dept of Philosophy Colloquium

Thinking about the complex configuration of the present conjuncture, this talk will map the possibilities of critical/radical thought through an alternative genealogy of the black radical intellectual tradition. The talk will suggest that part of the present crisis is also one of critical thought. It will then argue that questions of the imagination and its relationship to politics are central today for our capacity to fashion possible new futures.

Humanities Common Room
C-Ring 319
UJ Kingsway (APK) campus (directions)

Light catering will be provided.
Click HERE to RSVP

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Anthony Bogues is a writer, scholar, curator, and the Director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University. Bogues is Professor of Africana Studies, Royce Professor of Teaching Excellence (2004-2007), and currently the Asa Messer Professsor of Humanities and Critical Theory at Brown University, where he is also an affiliated faculty member of the departments of Political Science, Modern Culture and Media, History of Art and Architecture. In 2018 he joined VIAD as a Visiting Professor and Curator, and was recently announced as a CLUE+ Fellow at Vrije University, Amsterdam.

Bogues' major research and writing interests are intellectual, literary and cultural history, radical political thought, political theory, critical theory, Caribbean and African politics as well as Haitian, Caribbean, and African Art. He is the author of Caliban's Freedom: The Early Political Thought of C.L.R. James (1997); Black Heretics and Black Prophets: Radical Political Intellectuals (2003); and Empire of Liberty: Power, Freedom and Desire (2010). He is the editor of From Revolution in the Tropics to Imagined Landscapes: the Art of Edouard Duval-Carrié ( 2014 ); Metamorphosis: The Art of Edoaurd Duval-Carrie (2017), as well as two volumes on Caribbean intellectual and literary history: After Man, Towards the Human: Critical Essays on Sylvia Wynter (2005) and The George Lamming Reader: The Aesthetics of Decolonisation (2011).

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Wrestling Identities - Race & Gender in postapartheid times | with Zimitri Erasmus & Christi van der Westhuizen
Oct
30
5:00 PM17:00

Wrestling Identities - Race & Gender in postapartheid times | with Zimitri Erasmus & Christi van der Westhuizen

The Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD) is thrilled to announce this public conversation between Prof Zimitri Erasmus and Prof Christi van der Westhuizen – moderated by SASA Chair Dr Babalwa Magoqwana. Drawing on their recent book publications (see below), Profs Erasmus and van der Westhuizen will probe difficult questions around race and gender in postapartheid South Africa, with a view to facilitating an open, critical and productive dialogue.

Prof Zimitri Erasmus

Prof Christi van der Westhuizen

book 1.png

Race Otherwise. Forging a New Humanism for South Africa
Zimitri Erasmus

How is ‘race’ determined? Is it your DNA? The community that you were raised in? The way others see you or the way you see yourself?

In Race Otherwise: Forging a New Humanism for South Africa Zimitri Erasmus questions the notion that one can know race with one’s eyes, with racial categories and with genetic ancestry tests. She moves between the intimate probing of racial identities as we experience them individually, and analysis of the global historical forces that have created these identities and woven them into our thinking about what it means to be ‘human’.

Starting from her own family’s journeys through regions of the world and ascribed racial identities, she develops her argument about how it is possible to recognize the pervasiveness of race thinking without submitting to its power. Drawing on the theoretical work of Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter and others, Erasmus argues for a new way of ‘coming to know otherwise’, of seeing the boundaries between racial identities as thresholds to be crossed, through politically charged acts of imagination and love.

“Race Otherwise brings together the full amplitude of Zimitri Erasmus’s thinking about how race works. It tunes into registers both personal and social. It is not without indignation, and not … insensitive to emotion and … the anger inside South Africa. It is a book that is not afraid of questions of affect. Eros and love, Erasmus urges, are not separable from the hard work of thinking.”

— Crain Soudien, CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa

Sitting Pretty. White Afrikaans Women in Postapartheid South Africa
Christi van der Westhuizen

At the opening of South Africa’s first democratic parliament in 1994, newly elected president Nelson Mandela issued a clarion call to an unlikely group: white Afrikaans women, who during apartheid occupied the ambivalent position of being both oppressor and oppressed. He conjured the memory of poet Ingrid Jonker as ‘both an Afrikaner and an African’ who ‘instructs that our endeavours must be about the liberation of the woman, the emancipation of the man and the liberty of the child’. More than two decades later, the question is: how have white Afrikaans-speaking women responded to the liberating possibilities of constitutional democracy?

With Afrikaner nationalism in disrepair, and official apartheid in demise, have they re-imagined themselves in opposition to colonial ideas of race, gender, sexuality and class? Sitting Pretty explores this postapartheid identity through the concepts of ‘ordentlikheid’, as an ethnic form of respectability, and the ‘volksmoeder’, or mother of the nation, as enduring icon. Issues of intersectionality, space, emotion and masculinity are also investigated.

“Christi van der Westhuizen has pushed the boundaries of intersectionality beyond the current scholarly discourse, and opened up the possibility of a much richer understanding of not only the persistence of the problem of racism; her reflection on how racism and patriarchy interact in the social construction of Afrikaner women’s identity is a compelling vision of how these two systems of domination are critical in our understanding of the oppression of all women. Yet her last word on this most urgent problem of contemporary South Africa is a transformative vision.”

— Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Professor and Research Chair, Historical Trauma and Transformation, Stellenbosch University

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Decolonizing Pedagogy in Arts, Design & Creative Education | with Antonia Darder & friends
Sep
13
6:00 PM18:00

Decolonizing Pedagogy in Arts, Design & Creative Education | with Antonia Darder & friends

VIAD, STAND & UJ Arts & Culture are excited to present a public conversation with Prof Antonia Darder, with responses by Prof David Andrew, Brenden Gray, Rangoato Hlasane & Puleng Plessie. The objective of this gathering is both to engage with Prof Darder around questions of critical pedagogy in arts and design education, and to locate the discussion within the context of current projects and dialogues at work in the city.

Prof Darder’s scholarship has consistently focused on issues of racism, political economy, social justice, and education. Her work critically engages the contributions of Paulo Freire to our understanding of inequalities in schools and society. Darder’s critical theory of biculturalism links questions of culture, power, and pedagogy to social justice concerns in education. Through her decolonizing scholarship on ethics and moral issues, she articulates a critical theory of leadership for social justice and an interpretive methodology, with a focus on the empowerment of subaltern populations. Darder is the author of numerous books and holds the Leavey Presidential Endowed Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles; is Distinguished Visiting Professor of Education at University of Johannesburg; and Professor Emerita of Education Policy, Organisation, and Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.

For more information on Antonia Darder, visit www.darder.org

David Andrew is Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Visual Arts at the Wits School of Arts. He is an artist and lectures in Fine Arts and Arts Education courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Current research interests include the tracking of histories of arts education in South Africa and southern Africa more broadly; the Another Road Map School international research project and the reimagining of the arts school and artistic research in the context of the Global South. He was a member of the task team for the first NEPAD Regional Conference on Arts Education in Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa, 2015) and participated in the second NEPAD Regional Conference on Arts Education in Africa held in Cairo, Egypt, May 2017.

Brenden Gray is the Head of the Department of Graphic Design at the University of Johannesburg where he teaches on the Communication Design programme and on PGCE Visual Arts Methodology course. His research centers on the construction of social class in creative education and explores design and design discourses under neoliberal capitalism. His doctoral study examines the praxis and creativity of working class learners in public schools in Johannesburg. Gray is the founder and convener of STAND (Scholarship of Teaching in Art and Design) and is presently co-editing a book on critical pedagogy in South African creative and arts education.

Rangoato Hlasane is a cultural worker, writer, archivist, DJ and co-founder of Keleketla! Library, as well as a lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is committed to ‘art/s education’ with a social justice agenda. The importance to him of publishing on education is evident in the Keleketla! Library book, 58 Years to the Treason Trial: Intergenerational Dialogue as a tool for Learning (2014). Rangoato is also an active member of ARAC (Another Roadmap Africa Cluster). As Mma Tseleng, he has presented sonic lectures at events such as the Under the Mango Tree gathering of documenta 14 (2017), Kassel, The Night School (2017), Vienna and The World Show on Kaya FM (2017) amongst others.

Puleng Plessie is the Founding Director for a non-profit organisation called Keep the Dream Arts which is responsible for community art education in Johannesburg. She is part of the Johannesburg Working Group of Another Road map School, a global network which analyses polices in arts education. Plessie was recently invited to contribute to a research edited volume entitled Critical Pedagogies in South African Visual Culture (2018). Her research interest explores the notion of facilitating through dialogue to improve pedagogy by localising content and introducing different IsiZulu terminologies used to reimagine the language and practices associated with arts education such as Inkulumo-Mpendulwano.

This conversation is presented as a collaboration between the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD) and Scholarship of Teaching in Art and Design (STAND).

www.standgroup.wordpress.com

Special thanks to UJ Arts & Culture and the UJ Faculty of Education.

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Lesser Violence Reading Group, Session 1
Aug
29
6:00 PM18:00

Lesser Violence Reading Group, Session 1

Session 1 | with Gabrielle Goliath & Nondumiso Msimanga
PERFORMING THE WORK OF MOURNING: 
ETHICS & THE REPRESENTATION OF GENDERED/SEXUALISED VIOLENCE

The Lesser Violence Reading Group is envisioned as an open and interdisciplinary discursive space, organised by GALA (Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action) and VIAD (Visual Identities in Art and Design, UJ).

Over the course of four interactive sessions, a group of (maximum fifteen) participants will be guided through readings that cover the broad subjects of gender, sexuality, violence and visuality, with an emphasis on performance. These discussions will be located within a contemporary South African context, and in dialogue with concurrent discourses from the continent and its diaspora. Each session will be led by a different group of invited presenters from a variety of fields including, but not limited to: activism and social justice, art, performance, theatre, and journalism.

Through the Reading Group programme, GALA and VIAD hope to bring together gender activists and artists in a comfortable and intimate setting, in which conversation around these sensitive topics may be allowed to flourish. Equally, the reading sessions are an opportunity to engage with innovative texts, writers and theorists from South Africa and the continent.

‘Readings’ are not limited to academic texts, but can include films, images, music and sound, as well as newspaper and magazine articles.

Participants are welcome from any field, and from any point in their education. The sessions are intended for all who would like to further their intersectional understanding, and would like to meet with like-minded individuals.

All the best,

GALA and VIAD

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'Rhetorics of Resistance' book launch & conversation
Aug
2
6:00 PM18:00

'Rhetorics of Resistance' book launch & conversation

Reflecting on modes of resistance employed by opposition newspapers in Apartheid South Africa, Bryan Trabold will be in conversation with former Political Editor of the New Nation Enoch Sithole, and joint founder and editor of the Weekly Mail Irwin Manoim.

About the book:
The period of apartheid was a perilous time in South Africa’s history. Rhetorics of Resistance examines the tactics of resistance developed by those working for the Weekly Mail and New Nation, two opposition newspapers published in South Africa in the 1980s. The government, in an attempt to crack down on political resistance, had imposed martial law and even greater restrictions on the press. Bryan Trabold examines the writing, legal, and political strategies developed by those working for these newspapers to challenge the censorship restrictions. Despite the many steps taken by the government to silence them, including detaining the editor of New Nation for two years and temporarily closing both newspapers, theWeekly Mail and New Nation not only continued to publish but also increased their circulations and obtained strong domestic and international support. New Nation ceased publication in 1994 after South Africa made the transition to democracy, but the Weekly Mail, now the Mail & Guardian, continues to publish and remains one of South Africa’s most respected newspapers.
 
Bryan Trabold is an Associate Professor of English at Suffolk University in Boston, MA, and a Research Associate at the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD), University of Johannesburg.  His recently released book from the University of Pittsburgh Press, Rhetorics of Resistance: Opposition Journalism in Apartheid South Africa, examines the tactics of resistance developed by those working for the Weekly Mail and New Nation published in South Africa in the mid- and late 1980s. Trabold has also published articles in South African Historical Journal, African Journalism Studies, College English, and College Composition and Communication.

 

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The Black Panthers - Vanguard of the Revolution | Screening & conversation
Jun
5
6:00 PM18:00

The Black Panthers - Vanguard of the Revolution | Screening & conversation

South African premiere screening:
The Market Photo Workshop Auditorium
138 Lillian Ngoyi Street, Newtown

The screening will be followed by a conversation and Q&A with Emmy-award winning documentarian Stanley Nelson and Johannesburg-based artist Zen Marie.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE TRAILER

Presented by VIAD and the Windybrow Arts Centre, in collaboration with Firelight Media and the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (Brown University).

ABOUT THE FILM
Change was coming to America and the fault lines could no longer be ignored - cities were burning, Vietnam was exploding, and disputes raged over equality and civil rights. A new revolutionary culture was emerging and it sought to drastically transform the system. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would, for a short time, put itself at the vanguard of that change.

THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION is the first feature length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and many others,

THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION is an essential history and a vibrant chronicle of this pivotal movement that birthed a new revolutionary culture in America.

Click here to watch the trailer and read the Director's statement.
 
Stanley Nelson has been acknowledged as one of the preeminent documentary filmmakers of our time. He has directed and produced over twelve documentary features, including: Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Freedom Summer, Freedom Riders, Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple and The Murder of Emmett Till. Nelson’s latest film, Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. 

Nelson has won every major award in broadcasting. In 2016, he was honored with a Lifetime Peabody Award, a Lifetime Emmy Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association. He is a 2014 National Humanities Medalist, multiple Emmy Award winner, MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Nelson has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio programs, including PBS NewsHour, CBS Sunday Morning, NBC Nightly News, NPR’s Fresh Air, Melissa Harris-Perry, and many others. He holds a BFA from City College of New York, and Honorary Doctorates from Duke University and Haverford College. He has taught documentary film production at Howard University, Brooklyn College, and the University of California, Berkeley and guest lectured at universities and film schools around the world. Nelson is also co-founder of Firelight Media, a nonprofit production company dedicated to using historical film to advance contemporary social justice causes, and to mentoring, inspiring and training a new generation of diverse young filmmakers committed to advancing underrepresented stories. 
 

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SOUNDINGS | Black Sonic Archives
Apr
12
8:30 PM20:30

SOUNDINGS | Black Sonic Archives

Composers in Conversation
Thuthuka Sibisi & Philip Miller

In this conversation, South African composers Thuthuka Sibisi and Philip Miller discuss their recent composition – a musical arrangement for the image-sound installation, entitled, The African Choir 1891 Re-Imagined, which forms part of the exhibition Black Chronicles IV, exhibited at the FADA Gallery, University of Johannesburg (2018); the Apartheid Museum (2017, Johannesburg) and Iziko South African National Gallery (2017, Cape Town). The African Choir 1891 Re-Imagined tells the story of a group of 16 South African singers who travelled to Victorian England in 1891 to raise money for a technical college back home. Over two years, Sibisi and Miller worked with 15 contemporary singers in Cape Town to compose five songs, drawing from the original repertoire.

PUNGWE SOUND TRAILS
Future Sonic Ontologies: Cowbell Mixtapes as Sonic Incursions
Robert Machiri & Elsa M’bala

In his performance, entitled, PUNGWE SOUND TRAILS, Future Sonic Ontologies: Cowbell Mixtapes as Sonic Incursions, Robert Machiri (a.k.a Chi), draws on contemporary digital technologies to explore how sound performance can re-map spaces and histories in the contemporary moment. Using cowbells to represent a precolonial sonic archive of knowledge, Pungwe engages with remixing to consider questions of authenticity, adaptation and transformation. Chi downloads samples from the International Library of African Music website, and utilises them as the basis for a sound performance, which is intended to portray a frenzied state of mind. Drawing on the ideology of remixing, Chi interrogates colonial framings of African music to liberate them from the reductive subjection of the archive.

Sonic Bridges
Thembinkosi Goniwe
With collaborating musicians:
Andile Yenana (piano); Feya Faku (trumpet); Titi Luziphdo (vocals) & guests.
Photographic images by Andrew Tshabangu

Looking at Tshabangu’s photographs, not only do we see but also hear sounds and imagine sounds, rhythms, melody and beats. We witness both silence and sonic manifestations … (Thembinkosi Goniwe)

In Sonic Bridges, curator and artist Thembinkosi Goniwe has commissioned a remarkable, impromptu jazz quintet to respond to, look at, listen to, and interpret, a selection of photographic images from South African photographer, Andrew Tshabangu’s seminal Bridges (2008-) series. Through sonic mediums, the musicians evoke the praying, chanting, preaching, marching and dancing of worshippers documented in the projected images, which focus on religious and spiritual rituals performed in unusual, often make-shift contexts. One of the key photographs to be performed is Tribute to the Ancestors of the Middle Passage, shot in New York in 1999. This particular photograph is engaged with and performed through Dianne Reeves’ song, Bridges, after which Tshabangu’s Bridges series is named.

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Dr Cheryl Finley "Of Soul And Joy Workshop"
Apr
10
2:00 PM14:00

Dr Cheryl Finley "Of Soul And Joy Workshop"

VIAD & Of Soul and Joy are excited to present a private workshop and conversation with Dr Cheryl Finley. The objective of this gathering is both to engage with Dr Finley around questions of photography with the students in Thokoza.

Cheryl Finley

Cheryl Finley is Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell University in the United States. She holds a Ph.D. in African American Studies and History of Art from Yale University. She is the author of the monograph, Committed to Memory: the Art of the Slave Ship Icon, the first in depth study of the most famous image associated with the memory of slavery (Princeton University Press, 2018) and contributor to My Soul Has Grown Deep: Black Art from the American South (Yale University Press, 2018), which accompanies the exhibition History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York through September 23, 2018.

Of Soul & Joy Photography Project

In 2012, Of Soul & Joy Photography Project brought a photography project to the Buhlebuzile Secondary School in the eastern Johannesburg township of Thokoza. The initiative intends to be a visual platform and a skills development programme for the learners. This project is based on workshops run by international professional photographers, encounters with the art market and artistic events. Every year, Rubis Mécénat Cultural Fund and Easigas sponsor the photography studies of three gifted students of the project at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg, a prestigious photography school founded in 1989 by David Goldblatt, to ensure their future in photography.

For more info on the project , the events, the photographers, check:

http://www.rubismecenat.fr/of-soul-and-joy-project/?lang=en

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Of-Soul-Joy-Project-In-Thokoza/150677718402152

This conversation is presented as a collaboration between the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD) and “Of Soul and Joy”.

Special thanks to Jabulani Dhlamini and Dr Cheryl Finley

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'Inhabiting the Frame', colloquium: 9 - 10 October 2017
Oct
9
to Oct 10

'Inhabiting the Frame', colloquium: 9 - 10 October 2017

Responding to the exhibition, Priya Ramrakha: A Pan African Perspective, 1950-1968 (FADA Gallery, October 2017), VIAD hosted an intimate colloquium entitled, Inhabiting the Frame - Documentary & Subjectivity in the Anti/Post/Colonial Visual Archive. Running from 9 - 10 October, 2017 (FADA Gallery), conversations in the colloquium engaged with questions of agency, subjectivity and the implicit politics and 'ethical demands' of photo-documentary, in relation to anti-colonial and postcolonial struggles in Africa.

Participants included: Omar Badsha, Rory Bester, Linda Chernis, Khwezi Gule, Pamila Gupta, Keval Harie, Erin Haney, Patricia Hayes, Natasha Himmelman, Cynthia Kros, Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, John Edwin Mason, Peter McKenzie, Geoffrey Ogwaro, Sethembile Msezane, Dan Ojwang, Shravan Vidyarthi and Paul Weinberg.

Photographer and former Afrapix member, Peter McKenzie, passed away just two days after the colloquium, where he presented a thought-provoking paper on teaching the history of African photography. On behalf of all those who participated in the colloquium programme - many of whom were personal friends and colleagues - VIAD would like to acknowledge Peter's warm and generous personality, as well as his seminal contribution to photographic practice and pedagogy in South Africa.

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'isiShweshwe' by Juliette Leeb-du Toit | book launch
Sep
14
6:00 PM18:00

'isiShweshwe' by Juliette Leeb-du Toit | book launch

On 14 September, 2017, VIAD hosted the Johannesburg launch of isishweshwe: A history of the Indigenisation of Blueprint in South Africa, written by VIAD Research Associate Juliette Leeb-du Toit. In a landmark account of the social history of isishweshwe, Leeb-du Toit chronicles the influence and use of indigo, the fabric’s initial emergence in Europe, and its journey via ship and trade to the shores of South Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries. The book launch was accompanied by an exhibition of works by contemporary South African artists Senzeni Marasela and Siwa Mgoboza.

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'Lesser Violence', panel discussion
Aug
31
7:00 PM19:00

'Lesser Violence', panel discussion

On Thursday 31 August (the last day of Women’s Month), VIAD and GALA (Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action) jointly hosted an intimate discussion around performance art practices as modes of addressing the problematic of gendered violence and rape culture in South Africa. Moderated by VIAD curator and researcher, Amie Soudien, the panel included artists Donna Kukama, Gabrielle Goliath, Nondumiso Msimanga and Senzeni Marasela.

The discussion brought together a community of artists, curators, researchers, activists and writers with a shared interest in gender rights, and with a view to initiating dialogue around artistic strategies for working with, through, around and against enactments of gendered and sexualised violence, and their systemic perpetuation. With the support of GALA ,and other partners, VIAD is planning a related performance program for 2018.

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'DID SOMEONE SAY DECOLONISATION? DID SOMEONE SAY FREEDOM?' with Prof Anthony Bogues & Prof Handel Wright
Aug
11
7:00 PM19:00

'DID SOMEONE SAY DECOLONISATION? DID SOMEONE SAY FREEDOM?' with Prof Anthony Bogues & Prof Handel Wright

On Wednesday 16 August, 2017, VIAD hosted an evening of presentations and discussion with Professors Anthony Bogues and Handel Kashope Wright. Having interacted with FADA students in a series of student-led seminars on ‘Decolonizing Forward’, Bogues and Wright presented individual reflections on key issues and challenges around decolonisation, in relation to pedagogy and the university project, as well as to notions of freedom and the radical imagination. Presentations were followed by a conversation and Q&A session, moderated by UJ PhD candidate Thabang Monoa.

Anthony Bogues is Professor of Humanities and Critical Theory as well as Africana Studies at Brown University. He is also the Director of the Centre for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University.

Handel Kashope Wright is Professor and Director of the Centre for Culture, Identity & Education at the University of British Columbia.

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'Promises and Lies - Fault Lines in the ANC', documentary premiere
May
4
6:00 PM18:00

'Promises and Lies - Fault Lines in the ANC', documentary premiere

On the 4th of May, 2017, VIAD hosted the premiere of Dr Siona O’Connell’s provocative documentary, Promises & Lies – Fault Lines in the ANC. The premiere was screened in the tented pavilion on Constitution Hill, and was opened with an address by former Finance Minister Mr. Pravin Gordhan.

As an exercise in collective self-criticism, Promises & Lies – Fault Lines in the ANC asks difficult questions around collective memory, accountability and the ongoing demand for active citizenry – encouraging viewers to rethink histories of liberation struggle in relation to what O’Connell describes as an, “as of yet unrealised freedom”.

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Power Politics and the Emotions: Impossible Governance | Shona Hunter Book
Apr
6
4:30 PM16:30

Power Politics and the Emotions: Impossible Governance | Shona Hunter Book

Power Politics and the Emotions: Impossible Governance?

Shona Hunter’s recent publication Power, Politics Emotions: Impossible Governance (June 2015, in the Routledge book series Social Justice) draws together ongoing work on the emotions, identities and subjectivities in equalities governance.

Biographies

Prof. Shona Hunter is an Associate Professor in Sociology and Social Policy Governance at the University of Leeds, and a Visiting Associate Professor with the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre at the University of Johannesburg. With a BA Hons in Social Policy (1999), MA in Social Research with Distinction, 2000 and PhD in Social Policy, 2005, University of Birmingham, Prof Hunter’s work is interdisciplinary albeit with a background in critical policy studies. Her research interests cover all aspects of welfare governance. Prof. Hunter is academic lead for the ‘White Spaces’ research collaboration, which brings together colleagues from 23 Countries, with core members from Australia, Canada, the USA, South Africa and across Europe using critical whiteness studies. Related publications include a special issue of the journal Social Politics with colleagues in Australia and the USA on ‘Reproducing and resisting whiteness in organisations, policies and places’. Aspects of this White Spaces work are currently being developed as part of the British Academy Grant ‘Challenging Institutional Whiteness in Postcolonial Times’. Other publications include Equal Opportunities International, Journal of Psychosocial Studies, Journal of Social Work Practice. She sits on the Editorial Collective of Critical Social Policy and on the Editorial Board of Sociology.

Prof. Grace Khunou is an Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of Johannesburg, and Vice Dean of Research in the Faculty of Humanities. She holds a PhD in Sociology (2007), MA in Sociology (2001) and BA Hons in Industrial Sociology (1999), and has research interests in gender and health, social policy and the Black middle class. Prof. Khunou writes creatively and academically and has published in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and research reports. These include, among others, her authored book What Middle Class: the flux experiences of class, and articles in journals such as: Development Southern Africa (2015); Open Family Studies Journal; International Journal of Psychology; South African Review of Sociology; Communication; African Identities (International); and Public Culture. Prof. Khunou has also presented more than thirty papers in international and local conferences and reviews articles for SARS and other local academic journals.

Dr Heidi Grunebaum is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape. Her work focuses on memory, narrative and aesthetic responses to the afterlives of mass violence and psycho-geographies of displacement. Publications exploring this include a monograph, ‘Memorializing the Past: Everyday Life in South Africa after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ (New Jersey: Transaction, 2011), co-edited book ‘Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive’ (Cape Town: CHR, 2012) and co-produced documentary film ‘The Village Under the Forest’ (2013). Dr Grunebaum has also published extensively in Current Writing, Research in African Literatures, Fantomas, the PMLA, Encounters: International Journal on Culture and Society, Third Text Africa, Southern African Anthropology and contributed to the Cape

Times and Voices from the South (Karibu, Norway). She holds a Masters in French literature from the University of Cape Town (UCT), a Phd in History from UWC (2007) and an A.W. Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at the CHR (2009). 

Prof. Christi van der Westhuizen is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS & Gender at the University of Pretoria. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Cape Town and a Masters in Political Economy and South African Politics (Cum Laude) from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Prof. van der Westhuizen has held positions as a postdoctoral research fellowship with the Institute for Humanities in Africa, University of Cape Town, and a research associateship with the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, University of the Free State. Books authored include: Working Democracy: Perspectives on South Africa's Parliament at 20 Years (2014); White Power & the Rise and Fall of the National Party (2007) and, as editor, Gender Instruments in Africa: Critical Perspectives, Future Strategies (2005). She also contributed to the book In the Balance: South Africans Debate Reconciliation (2010) and to various journals, including African Studies as a guest editor. Prof. van der Westhuizen started her working life as a journalist at the independent anti-apartheid weekly Vrye Weekblad, and was awarded the Mondi Paper Newspaper Award for her political columns in the media. She is a regular commentator on race, gender and democracy in the media.

Prof. Desiree Lewis is a Professor in the Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of the Western Cape, a Council Member of the National English Literary Museum, and currently serves on the editorial boards of four academic journals. Her research interests span literary and popular culture, global feminist knowledges and politics, the politics of visuality and representation postcolonial writing and culture, with a focus in developing feminist intellectual activist networks throughout Africa through research and editorial work on feminist networking and knowledge production. Prof. Lewis has also has participated in webinars, workshops and seminars on gender, race and sexualities in South Africa and writes on feminism and gender. Publications include her book Living on a Horizon: Bessie Head and the Politics of Imagining; journal articles in Agenda, Social Dynamics, Feminist Africa; Feminism in Africa; and chapter contributions in Was it Something I Wore: Dress, Identity, Materiality. Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2012; Tamale, S, ed. African Sexualities: A Reader. Cape Town, Dakar, Nairobi and Oxford: Pambazuka Press), pp 119-217. And Gordon-Chipembere, N. ed. Representation and Black Womanhood. New York: Palgrave. pp101-120.

Prof. Lewis has been a Fulbright scholar-in-residence, a research associate at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala Sweden, and a visiting researcher and lecturer in the United States and Sweden.

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