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 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

#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...