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Dr Serote to speak at #CreativeUprising Conference

Iconic poet and struggle veteran Dr Mongane Wally Serote will recall his experience of ‘Weaponizing Words for Political Change’ at the ACT| UJ Creative Conference. The ACT|UJ Creative Conference is pleased to announce that the #CreativeUprising programme will include a free session, during which Dr Serote will deliver a thought provoking address. The session will take place in the Main Theatre at Arts Centre located on the University of Johannesburg’s Kingsway Campus in Auckland Park. This open session, scheduled to take place from 16h00 – 19h30 on Thursday 27 July 2017, will comprise two parts. The Lekgotla starting promptly at 16h00 will feature The Department of Basic Education and The Department of Arts and Culture. Audience members are invited to bring their questions to this forum, followed by a short break after which Dr Serote will deliver the day’s closing address. Dr Serote is no stranger to the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT). In 2016, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature at the 19th Annual ACT Awards, The ACT Lifetime Achievement Awards seek to honour South African greats whose continued work in their respective fields have significantly shaped and changed the arts and culture industry in South Africa. Last year, Serote was celebrated alongside Penny Siopis (Visual Art), Johaar Mosaval (Dance), Adv. Albie Sachs (Arts Advocacy), Johnny Clegg (Music) and Pieter Dirk-Uys (Theatre).   This year’s #CreativeUprising Conference considers arts education and arts in education in its current state and possible futures. “We could not think of a more fitting speaker to encourage the youth to speak out and use the power of their voices, than Dr Serote,” says...

#CreativeUprising Q&A: Thobile Chittenden of Room13

Over the next few days in the lead-up to the ACT | UJ Creative Conference, we will be posting several op-eds from our ACT Team members as well as the conference presenters & performers. This will allow the delegates to interact with some of the key themes and ideas around this year’s #CreativeUprising. Today’s Op-Ed Q&A comes from Thobile Chittenden from Room13,  catch her in conversation with Motsumi Makene on Thursday 27th July 2017 where she will be looking at the role of the community in creativity amidst the 4th Industrial Revolution.      THE ARTS & CULTURE TRUST (ACT): Please briefly describe the work that you are involved in? THOBILE CHITTENDEN (TC): I run a social marketing company that is passionate about uplifting youth and families, a not-for-profit that specialises in educational and behavioural change programmes. Through face-to-face interaction and on–the-ground intervention, we aim to create a sense of individual responsibility. We believe in creating shared value for our clients and the power of collaboration and innovation. Our vision is to make meaningful, measurable and magical differences in the lives and fortunes of disadvantaged youth. ACT: Why do you feel that creativity and the creative economy are essential for South Africa?  TC: I’m sure most people are aware of Africa’s youth bulge; 60% of the workforce in Africa is under 30 years old and it is critical that South Africa turns its fast-growing young population into a dividend rather than a burden. Education and training for future skills is a vital part of realising this potential. We are also very aware of the challenge we face in terms of youth unemployment. The root of unemployment is not only a lack of jobs; but a key...

#CreativeUprising Op – Ed: African Power Station

Over the next few days in the lead-up to the ACT | UJ Creative Conference, we will be posting several op-eds from our ACT Team members as well as the conference presenters & performers. This will allow the delegates to interact with some of the key themes and ideas around this year’s #CreativeUprising. Today’s Op-Ed comes from ART AFRICA editor Ashraf Jamal. Catch his presentation at the ACT | UJ Creative Conference on Friday 28 July 2017.    In Condition Report, a collection of essays concerned with ‘building art institutions in Africa’, Koyo Kouoh – Director of 1:54, the largest annual exhibition of contemporary African art in the northern hemisphere – asks the following: ‘How is Africa after fifty years of Independence, really determining its artistic landscape?’ Kouoh’s approach turns on ‘platforms of criticality and production’ that ‘question hegemonic viewpoints, canons and narratives of art, and develop and manifest approaches of knowledge production outside state institutionalisation’, the better to permit ‘in-between zones, spaces in flux that connect theoretical, visual, practical and local knowledge’. Wary of the easy canonisation and essentialising of contemporary African art, Kouoh’s vision – nothing short of a manifesto – is designed to challenge the blithe absorption of African art within a global economy. Simon Njami, a contributor to Condition Report, shares this line of questioning.  ‘Can we grasp the needs of our times with contemporary tools’ Njami asks. ‘Can we move beyond the codification of a monolithic history of the world that is outrageously simplified? Can we change the analytic schemas whose purpose was to lock identities into geographic essentialisms?’ For Kouoh and Njami what...

#CreativeUprising Op-Ed: SiyafundisaNa in conversation

Siyafundisana –We teach each other. Siyafundisa na? – Are we teaching each other?

(This conversation between Puleng Plessie and Genevieve Louw took place underneath a scaffolding structure on Wits campus.)

SiyafunidisaNa in Dialogue:

GL: Okay, so what do you mean by “moments” in the scaffolding?

PP: The moments that you speak of are moments of failure, moments of strength, moments of collaboration, and moments of access/lack of access especially in relation to the signage.

GL: … and intersecting… There are lots of intersections but there are also structures that are very geometric- they are structurally sound. When I look at the pile of scaffolding on the floor it seems to become a representation of possibility because you don’t know what it will become- but also chaos… When it comes to collaborations, strengths and failures, I think about the pedagogical significance of scaffolding. What we do as the constructors of it, as the educators and facilitators.

#CreativeUprising: Op-Ed – The Future of the arts through rose-tinted glasses

Over the next few days in the lead-up to the ACT | UJ Creative Conference, we will be posting several op-eds from our ACT Team members as well as the conference presenters & performers. This will allow the delegates to interact with some of the key themes and ideas around this year’s #CreativeUprising. Today’s opinion piece comes from The Arts & Culture Trust’s very own Pieter Jacobs: If anything has the potential to change what the arts industry will be in years to come, it is involving young people in shaping its future. I vividly remember my first theatre encounter as a Grade 1 learner (at the time known as Sub A) – from the anticipation that builds as we’ve left the dusty streets of Dewetsdorp in the Free State to watch Liewe Heksie at the Sand du Plessis in Bloemfontein to the sheer ecstasy of experiencing the magic of theatre. In those days, production values of children’s theatre were excellent. And it certainly was not wasted on impressionable young minds. This is where I fell in love for the first time. And my friends who didn’t fall quite as hard as I did, to this day cherish those memories and now and then return to the theatre in search for that moment of magic. And that is, of course, what the industry needs – a theatre-going, book-reading, art-loving culture. Even though the world has changed in so many ways, I believe that good art has the power to wave its magic wand and take hold of future art-lovers in ways few other things in life are able to....

#CreativeUprising Timetable announced

#CreativeUprising timetable announced #CreativeUprising will be a proactive, interactive and stimulating experience for all Art Education delegates.   The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Arts & Culture (a division of FADA) in partnership with The SAMRO Foundation are pleased announce its dynamic two-day #CreativeUprising Conference programme. The programme will run from 27-28 July 2017 at The University of Johannesburg’s Arts Centre situated on Kingsway Campus in Auckland Park.   “We have been workshopping ideas around arts education and arts in education by consulting industry experts as well as active practitioners in the arts and culture industry for the past ten months to ensure that the ACT | UJ #CreativeUprising Conference speaks to all its delegates” says Conference Project Manager, Anastasia Pather. Since the fall of the Rhodes Statue in April 2015 and the rise of #RhodesMustFall movements, a nationwide call for a transformed and decolonised curricula has risen. In response to this, the #CreativeUprising programme has been designed to ensure that it is accessible, relevant and proactive in its approach towards arts education and arts in education. “In order to do this we have also ensured that there is a space for the conversation to take place before the conference on our website or Facebook page, and Twitter (@actujconference) as well as a space for post-conference engagement in the form of an exciting publication,” says Storm Jade Brown, Marketing and Fundraising Coordinator at ACT.   This year’s two-day programme is a single stream yet jam-packed experience. Delegates attending the first day of the conference will see presentations and performances by key experts, practitioners, educators and...

ACT | UJ unlearns how to conference

#CreativeUprising, the 5th ACT | UJ Creative Conference will engage with South African Art Education in its current state and possible future. This iteration of the conference is about unlearning and rethinking how we do things and present things. From curating a conference to how we talk about art education in South Africa, the aim of ACT | UJ Conference has been to share knowledge with the view of enabling, advancing and inspiring creative South Africa.   “There are many conferences and symposiums this year that are investigating art education. We see this as an indication that this content is pertinent to our industry and that we are in a position to add to this conversation,” shares Anastasia Pather, the conference Project Manager. “The conference is not about repetition or making bold claims. We will be recapping and reporting on previous conferences like NEPAD and ASSITEJ with the view to give our delegates a refresher on what has already been discussed so they can share that information in their networks and establish how they can progress those ideas further.” To ensure there is no ranking of content, each engagement has been carefully curated and is equally valuable and as such the conference will have no keynote speakers. The conference organisers feel that there is no room for hierarchy when talking about modernising colonial knowledge systems with an aim for it to be appropriate and inclusive to all its users. Instead, #CreativeUprising will be presented by Ashraf Jamal, Puleng Plessie, David Andrew, Alison Kearney, Thuli Gamedze, Nike Romano, Prof Mzob Mboya, and Motsumi Makhene, among a list of art education...

2017 ACT|UJ Creative Conference Theme announced: #CreativeUprising

The 2017 edition of the conference considers the theme of arts education and arts in education. It sees the term ‘decolonisation’ as a catalyst for moving towards a context-based curricula. Presentations and demonstrations will use this concept as a golden thread to bind the conference narrative together.

This two day conferenceb takes place from 27-28 July 2017 in Johannesburg. The conference proceedings will include an individualized programme for educators and school learners that has been designed to inspire change. The programme combines presentations, performances and opportunities to hear the voices of art learners, educators, trainers, academics and the arts community.

Paul Ballen

Paul grew up in Johannesburg but spent most summers pounding the pavements of New York City because his dad, renowned international photographer Roger Ballen, is a New Yorker by birth and upbringing. “I remember in my early childhood eating ice cream with my American family. Ice cream is such a part of American day to day life,” he says. An ice cream machine for a birthday present began Paul’s journey into his own mastery of ice cream. Paul started making one litre a day. Milk chocolate with swirls of Nutella and chunks of Oreo was an early experiment. Soon he needed a second machine. He started giving tubs of the stuff away to family and friends. Flavors were experimental and often exotic and indulgent. The tubs were decorated with handmade labels by his mom, acclaimed local artist Lynda Ballen, and tied with bows. He created a Facebook group and an order form, an Instagram account, a blog, and hosted promo days with waffles and ice cream. “People started associating me with ice cream.” From two Krups machines, Paul moved onto a Gelatissimo that had a built-in compressor. From one litre a day, he could now churn one litre an hour: “I used to make a huge mess in my parents’ kitchen late at night making the custard. There was egg white and sugar everywhere.” More orders came in and the purchase of another Gelatissimo followed. After the third Gelatissimo and the recruitment of an assistant, Paul started approaching small stores such as Wolves and Love Food to stock his product. His cousin in London sent a design for a...

Roger Ballen

Ballen is one of the most important photographers of his generation. He was born in New York in 1950 but for over 30 years he has lived and worked in South Africa. His work as a geologist took him out into the countryside and led him to take up his camera and explore the hidden world of small South African towns. At first he explored the empty streets in the glare of the midday sun but, once he had made the step of knocking on people’s doors, he discovered a world inside these houses which was to have a profound effect on his work. These interiors with their distinctive collections of objects and the occupants within these closed worlds took his unique vision on a path from social critique to the creation of metaphors for the inner mind. After 1994 he no longer looked to the countryside for his subject matter finding it closer to home in Johannesburg. Over the past thirty years his distinctive style of photography has evolved using a simple square format in stark and beautiful black and white. In the earlier works in the exhibition his connection to the tradition of documentary photography is clear but through the 1990s he developed a style he describes as ‘documentary fiction’. After 2000 the people he first discovered and documented living on the margins of South African society increasingly became a cast of actors working with Ballen in the series’ Outland and Shadow Chamber collaborating to create disturbing psychodramas. The line between fantasy and reality in his series’ Boarding House and Asylum of the Birds (published in the...

EUNIC Lab 2015: Convening New Audiences

EUNIC Lab, initiated by EUNIC South Africa (European Union National Institutes for Culture), is making it possible for professionals from Europe and South Africa to engage around public art and its role in audience development and alternative spaces/alternative education. EUNIC Lab invites a number of delegates from Europe and South Africa to share and exchange best practice examples in the development of new audiences for institutions such as museums, galleries and art spaces. The lab, which runs between Wed 27 and Fri 29 May, includes workshops, visits and public sessions in Johannesburg, Soweto and Pretoria. The workshops focus on ways to engage distanced or inaccessible communities, and look at case studies of institutions that have managed to gain diverse audiences, through innovative and economical strategies. Particular attention will be paid to education, with a focus on young people. Join the two public sessions which will be held on Wednesday 27 May in Soweto and Thursday 28 May in Pretoria and engage with professionals on topics such as “Public art and its role in audience development” and “Alternative spaces/alternative education”. This project is realised in partnership with VANSA (Visual Arts Network of South Africa), in the context of EuropeFest, the Month of Europe’s Cultures, in collaboration with the ‘Connecting Creative Markets’ programme supported by Business and Arts South Africa and the British Council Connect ZA. Public sessions / Free Wednesday 27 May: 17:30 to 19:00 Eyethu Gallery 649 Machaba Drive, Mofolo Central, Soweto “Public art and its role in audience development” With Marina Naprushkina (The Office for Anti-Propaganda, Germany), Grant Jurius (Burning Museum, Cape Town) and Buntu Fihla (King William’s...

Conferences Post Mortem | #CreativesMakeItHappen

Creatives can engage further with industry professionals on industry hot topics and opportunities by booking in time to join the #CreativesMakeItHappen conversation. 21 May: Conferences Post Mortem ACT Trustee, Jayesperi Moopen, engages the National Arts Council’s Coordinator, Rosie Katz from the NEPAD arts education conference and Levinia Jones, Head of Arts British Council and Content Director for the 2015 ACT | UJ Conference, around major observations, outcomes and ways forward with a focus on how practitioners can mobilise the knowledge and information shared at the conferences. Entrance to the conversation is free but space is limited. To secure your place, please email your contact details to preciousm@uj.ac.za and how many people you would like to book for. The 2015 Conference was presented by the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT), UJ Arts & Culture and British Council Connect ZA, with support from the Department of Arts and Culture, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), SAMRO Foundation, Pro Helvetia, the European Union, the SA–UK Seasons 2014 & 2015; and media partners Classicfeel magazine and UJFM...

Wikithon to Improve the ‘African Literature’ Wikipedia Page

On June 4 at the upcoming African Literature Association (ALA) conference at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, Africa in Words will be hosting a ‘Wikithon’ to improve the ‘African Literature’ Wikipedia page. During a Wikithon (also often called an Edit-a-thon), people come together to edit a particular Wikipedia page or topic. The ALA conference theme this year is ‘African Futures and Beyond: Visions in Transition,’ and this Wikithon/panel will provide a unique, hands-on opportunity to create open access resources and to think about the future of knowledge production in African literary studies. Wikipedia is the most popular reference website in the world and often the primary point of departure for student research. However, its pages vary greatly in their scope and quality. In particular, the Wikipedia page for ‘African Literature‘ is an extremely limited resource and in need of scholarly references, expanded author lists, a potential re-framing of its categories of information, as well as greater attention to literature and orature in African languages. The ALA conference is an ideal venue at which to involve a diverse body of scholars and writers in creating and editing high quality information about African literature. Most importantly, all of this information is available open access. During this Wikithon, we will discuss areas for intervention and improvement, teach basic Wikipedia editing skills, and begin editing the page collectively. Key areas for improvement of the African literature page include: referencing academic work from the continent; greater attention to literature and orature in African languages; home page acknowledgement of diversity in what it currently labels as ‘postcolonial’ literature; a need to challenge the notion of...

6th Durban FilmMart Delegate Registration opens

Delegate registration for the Durban FilmMart (DFM), Africa’s premier film finance and co-production forum is now open. Now in its 6th edition, the DFM, which takes place from July 17 to 20, is a joint project of Durban Film Office, the City’s industry development unit, and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) as an endeavour to raise the visibility of African cinema, stimulate production on the continent, and facilitate project collaboration between African filmmakers. “The overall objective of the FilmMart is to support, facilitate and develop the growth of African film content and create viable opportunities for business within the sector to flourish.” says Durban Film Office’s Toni Monty. “The Mart, promises delegates access to influential experts, broadcasters and financiers in the film industry and creates a space for industry professionals to forge strategic relationships.” DFM is presented in three strategic pillars: the Finance Forum, Master Classes and Africa in Focus – a programme of workshops, and also offers a series of networking and social sessions with like-minded industry representatives. Delegates have access to Master classes held with leading industry experts in the areas of concept development, project packaging, co-production development, new media, finance, marketing, distribution, and other themes. This year’s Master Class in Film Packaging and Finance, is entitled New Film-Making Strategies; from South Africa to Pan-Africa and towards the Global Market. Sponsored by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission (KZNFC), the master class will be presented by leading international film and creative industry specialist and published writer Angus Finney. Finney, comes to the Mart having actively been involved as executive producer on...

African Month Dialogue and lecture titled “What it means to be African”

The Department of Arts and Culture invites members of the media to an African Month Dialogue and lecture titled “What it means to be African” that will take place at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town. The Department is leading and coordinating a government-wide African Month Festival of Ideas & Cultural Exchange that is taking place throughout the month of May. It is celebrated under the theme We Are Africa – Opening the doors of learning and culture to promote peace and friendship from Cape to Cairo. The lecturer will be delivered by internationally acclaimed, Somali-born writer, Professor Nuruddin Farah, who is regarded as one of the greatest contemporary fiction writers in the world. The respondent to the lecturer will be Nigerian born Professor Harry Garuba, an academic; writer, poet and an associate professor at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Cape Town.The chair will be Professor Shaun Viljoen from Stellenbosch University, English Department who has recently published a biography on the late author, Richard Rive. This is part of the Department of Arts and Culture’s inaugural Africa Month (May) programme, that has as its theme: “We are Africa: Opening the Doors of Learning and Culture from Cape to Cairo”. This event is part of a series of lectures and dialogues supported by the Department which began in April this year with a lecture by Ben Okri on “Summoning the African renaissance”, a focus on Higher Education and Africa (Prof Sipho Seepe) as well as African music (Prof Phalandwa Mulaudzi), a dialogue in Grahamstown (featuring Prof Helon Habila, Prof Kole Omotoso and Prof Muxe...

#CreativesInConversation focus on fundraising

ACT CEO Pieter Jacobs will tackle funding and sponsorship for the arts in the penultimate of the Creatives in Conversation series at UJ this week. Under the auspices of the Creatives in Conversation series, Mr Pieter Jacobs, CEO of the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT), will provide an overview of the formal funding structures on the local arts and culture landscape. The session also aims to share information and knowledge regarding fundraising and sponsorship more broadly.   Curated as one of the ways in which creative industries practitioners and stakeholders could take the conversations of the 2015 ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference forward, “Creatives in Conversation” is a series of free public engagements with creative experts. Five conversations themed around theatre, music, visual arts and the creative industries were initially presented in the weeks leading up to the Conference. Brett Pyper facilitated an open conversation shortly after the Conference followed by sessions on Sustaining Member-Based Arts Organisations and on Policy & Advocacy. Mr Jacobs is an award-winning playwright, producer, actor and arts manager. Since graduating from Tshwane University of Technology in 2001, he has worked on various productions and events in the United Arab Emirates, Ireland and South Africa. In his role as CEO of ACT, he serves as a member of the Trust’s Management, Projects & Fundraising and Risk & Audit committees. He is also a member of Arterial Network South Africa’s Executive Steering Committee. Creatives in Conversation wraps up next Thursday 21 May with a post-mortem session on several recent arts conferences. ACT Trustee, Jayesperi Moopen, engages the National Arts Council’s Coordinator, Rosie Katz from...

Inaugural African Arts Campus

  The African Arts Institute (AFAI) is hosting an inaugural African Arts Campus from 4-25 May 2015 at the Homecoming Centre of the District Six Museum in Cape Town to provide opportunities to learn more about the African continent. The Campus compromises 29 short courses ranging from one-off lectures to 6-session courses that cover the arts e.g. “Introduction to African literature” and “Congolese music in Cape Town” as well as broader contextual themes such as “China in Africa” and “Tradition and Modernity”. Arts Campus The Campus coincides with “Africa Month” (Africa Day is on 25 May) and provides an ideal opportunity – particularly in the light of the Afrophobic violence taking place in South Africa – for participants to learn more about the African continent. Learn about Africa by immersing yourself in its rich history and contemporary present, where you will be exposed to 30 evening courses and lectures presented by a host of experts, experienced professionals and university professors. The Campus will take place in central CBD locations (the Cape Town City Library, the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre) from 4-25 May 2015. The AAC entails three weeks of evening and afternoon short courses, mini-lecture series and stand-alone talks that focus on arts, culture and development in contemporary Africa. The line-up is varied and rich as it spans from contemporary culture to ancient history. The AAC also presents a host of cultural activities, film screenings, studio visits to artists from the African Diaspora (every Saturday) and musical performances, DJ mash-up sessions, heritage walks through and beyond the city. Click here to read more and register. Course and lecture...

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

AFRICAN ARTS INSTITUTE: CULTURAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP TRAINING COURSE Eligibility: Cultural Entrepreneurs from English-speaking African countries Training place: Cape Town, South Africa Training date: 15 – 24 June 2015* As part of the broader African Cultural Leadership Programme, which has been running since 2012 in more than 41 African countries, applications are now open for suitable Learning Partners to join the 10-day Cultural Entrepreneurship Course in Cape Town in June. We are looking for creative business minds who have a few years experience as cultural entrepreneurs; are inspiring and creative; are innovators and risk takers in the cultural and creative industries in their country; and are dedicated to transforming and contributing to the sustainability of the creative and cultural sector. Being an active member of a professional arts network, such as Arterial Network, is an added advantage. This course seeks to nurture, mentor and empower cultural entrepreneurs to better their trade in cultural goods and services and at the same time, contribute to sustainable professional networks. The course will be run by MBA trained leaders, artist professionals and cultural policy experts. A maximum of 20 applicants will be accepted onto the course, with full scholarships. The deadline for applications is Friday 08 May 2015. You can visit www.afai.org.za/cultural-entrepreneurship-course to download the application form, or email ayanda@afai.org.za to be sent an application form directly. The Cultural Entrepreneurship Course is part of a larger Programme called the African Cultural Leadership Programme. This Programme is funded by the European Union’s Investing in People’s Programme, with financial and collegiate support from Goethe -Institut, Arterial Network and 4 regional training partners: Go Down Art Centre(Kenya, East...