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

#CreativeUprising – Unlearning for change   The 2017 edition of the conference considers the theme of arts education and arts in education. This is interrogated through the perspective of the rise of the decolonized Creative. This process calls for unlearning and relearning and its development must be recognised as an opportunity to provoke, counsel and protest a new South African future for Arts Education in basic, tertiary, online and informal education. The programme will draw on past conversations and findings of this already rising movement determined on questioning what is relevant and how we replace an imposed, *unAfrican system? The removal of the Rhodes statue in 2015 was not only a dismantling of a monolithic construct of exclusion but it also gave rise to a group of empowered activists that were born out of conflict with an art object. This uprising calls for a critical reimagining of how we see, understand and teach in this new ‘art space’ that has turned a cultural site into a classroom, a protest into an art performance and the students into teachers. A new post-colonial, post-Fanonian, curriculum must be considered for the decolonised Creative. The conference 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. The two day conference will include an individualized programme for educators and school learners that has been designed to inspire change. The progamme combines presentations, performances and opportunities to hear the voices of art learners, educators, trainers, academics and the arts community. The ACT | UJ  #CreativeUprising conference will...

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...

Creatives in Conversation takes the form of an open mic evening

So the 2015 ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference has come to a close, and now that we’ve had a chance to catch our breath, there are a lot of opinions which need to be shared and conversations that need to be finished off. We expect that each delegate has taken something different from this conference and we want to hear what you experienced and how you feel we can move forward from here as a creative sector. Join us this Thursday 19 March from 17:00 – 19:00 for our first post-conference “Creatives in Conversation” at UJ Arts Centre. The discussion will take the form of an open mic evening and will be hosted by Brett Pyper who is head of the Wits School of Arts and was part of our panel for Calling in the Elephant. This conversation will give people the chance to engage and voice their thoughts. Come have your say, we look forward to seeing you...

You’re Never Too Old To Start A New Venture, Look At These Famous Entrepreneurs

As a young creative entrepreneur trying to establish yourself, you may feel that Mark Zuckerberg and the current lot of 20-something CEOs are ruining it for people like us who’re facing a mid-life crisis. We found this infographic  which proves why it’s never to late to start your own venture, so we thought we’d share the inspiration.   Did you know? McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc sold paper cups and milkshake mixers till he was 52 Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling was a single mom on welfare till she was 31 Harrison Ford was a carpenter till his 30s Zara founder Amancio Ortega was a shirt shop helper till he was 30 Evan Williams co-founded Twitter at the age of 35 Niklas Zennstromm was 37 when he created Skype Arianna Huffington started Huffington Post at the age of 54 Still not convinced? Here’s more:     Source: Funders and Founders So if you haven’t come up with that billion dollar idea yet, don’t worry, there’s still time. Share this post and your views here. Special thanks to Digitalsynopsis for sharing inspirational pages such as...