#CreativeUprising Op – Ed: African Power Station

#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...

#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...