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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

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).

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