PRESENTERS + PERFORMERS

DONNA KUKAMA BIO

Donna Kukama is a multimedia artist working in video, sound, and performance. Predominantly performance-based, her work often presents itself as moments within reality that question the way in which histories are narrated, as well as how value systems are constructed. Through creating fleeting moments that exist between reality and fiction, her performances manifest through the unscripted participation of others, and often resist established “ways of doing”. Kukama has presented work in various Museums internationally, and has participated in several international biennale. Kukama was one of the selected artists to represent South Africa at the Venice Biennale in 2013, and is the 2014 recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Performance Art. She is currently a faculty member at the WITS School of Arts (University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), and lives in Johannesburg.

KENNEDY CHINYOWA BIO

Kennedy C. Chinyowa is currently a Research Professor in the Department of Drama and Film Studies, Faculty of Arts, at Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa. He is also the Director of the Faculty’s Centre for Creative Industries. He was the Head of the Dramatic Arts Division at the University of Witwatersrand (2011-2014). He was a visiting scholar in the Centre for Applied Theatre Research at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia (2001 -2005) where he obtained his PhD degree in Applied Theatre.  Apart from presenting several papers and workshops at international conferences, he has published widely in books, refereed and accredited journals such as Research in Drama Education, Studies in Theatre and Performance, Drama Research, Nadie Journal  and the South African Theatre Journal, to mention a few.

ALISON KEARNEY BIO

Dr Alison Kearney is an artist, art theorist and lecturer in arts education in the Wits School of Education. She obtained her PhD, on the use of found objects by contemporary South African artists from Wits in 2016. Dr Kearney has published journal articles and book chapters on aspects of contemporary South African art and arts education as well as writes education materials for Wits Art Museum.

THOBILE CHITTENDEN BIO

Thobile Chittenden is the Founding Director of a social impact organisation called HDI For Good and has 10 years’ experience in direct marketing and advertising campaigns, specialising in providing educational and behavioural change programmes from pre-school to tertiary learners, with a network of over 3000 schools. Thobile has more recently been involved in leading an Arts Education Programme called Room 13 which provides essential arts and entrepreneurial skills to learners across the country, this involvement has ignited an Artivist in the making, by her embarking and co-steering a movement to ensure access to arts education for all young South Africans.

GRAHAM DAMPIER BIO

Dr Graham Dampier is a senior researcher in Academic Development and Support at the University of Johannesburg. He co-ordinates the African Insights module and is currently writing a dissertation on Karl Marx. His interests include the poetry of W. B. Yeats, Item Response Theory, Validity Theory and predictive statistical modelling.

ASHRAF JAMAL BIO

Ashraf Jamal teaches at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology – Cape Town. He is the editor of Art Africa. His book – In the World: Essays on Contemporary South African Art – is published by Skira

DAVID ANDREW BIO

David Andrew is Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Visual Arts at the Wits School of Arts. He studied at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, (BA Fine Arts 1985) and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, (H Dip Ed (PG) 1986; PhD 2011). 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.

BANELE LUKHELE BIO

Banele Lukhele is a freelance educator, self-published writer and composer. Lukhele has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Witwatersrand and has participated in international, leadership development programmes. Lukhele is interested in alternative teaching methods, including teaching through play and cultural exchange.  She is passionate about child development, education and the advancement of women in leadership.

KIM BERMAN BIO

Kim Berman is an Associate Professor in Visual Art at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Executive Director of Artist Proof Studio (APS), a community-based printmaking centre in Newtown, Johannesburg which she co-founded APS with the late Nhlanhla Xaba in 1991. She received her B.F.A. from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1981 and her M.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/ Tufts University, USA in 1989. She completed her PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2009. She has lectured and exhibited widely in South Africa and internationally. She is committed to engaging arts for social change through her activism and teaching. Her forthcoming book: Finding Voice: A visual approach to engaging change, published by the University of Michigan Press will be released later this year.

NIKE ROMANO BIO

Nike Romano convenes the History of Art and Design and Current Awareness courses in the extended curriculum programmes of the Faculty of Informatics and Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Having worked in the field of graphic design and visual art for many years, Nike diffracts her practices as visual artist and teacher through a post-constructivist perspective of the ‘living curriculum’ and the ‘becoming curriculum’ in order to support design students’ transition into the first year experience in the academy. Her research is concerned with developing art history pedagogical strategies and methodologies that respond effectively to the contingencies arising out of current debates around the call to ‘decolonise the academy’ in South Africa. In the context of polarized local and global politics, as and educator, Nike works with design students as they seek to navigate difference(s) in the classroom in order to critique unequal power relations, embrace difference(s), and model compassionate behaviours that promote social justice. To this end, she examines how arts based practices contribute to building socially just pedagogies in higher education in South Africa. Nike completed her completed here MFA at Michaelis School of Fine art in 2013 and is currently registered to do her PhD in Higher Education at the University of the Western Cape.

PULENG PLESSIE BIO

Puleng Plessie is the Founding Director for a non-profit organization called Keep the Dream Arts which is responsible for community art education in the city of Johannesburg. She also sits as a Board of Trustees for the Curriculum Development Projects Trust. Plessie has completed her MAFA at the University of Witwatersrand in 2017, and since 2016 she has participated in conferences in São Paulo, Vienna, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg. Plessie will also been invited to contribute a research edited volume entitled Critical Pedagogies in South African Visual Culture. 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.

She also forms one half of  SiyafundisaNa: a collaboration between Puleng Plessie and Genevieve Louw based in Johannesburg that seeks to rethink/problematise art educational practice through performance and dialogue informed by the experience of co-facilitating and experimentation.

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

ASHER GAMEDZE BIO

Asher Gamedze is a cultural worker, working mainly in the creative practices of music, writing and education. Over the last few years, these practices which, for a long time felt separate, have intersected in productive and generative ways such that they feel like they like they are part of the same thing. Gamedze is interested, involved and invested in collective study and collective struggle for collective futures.

NANDIE BIO

Nandie Mnyani is a Music Educator and singer. She holds a BMus (Honours) in Performance. Currently she is doing her Masters in Arts & Culture Management at University of Witwatersrand. Her research is concerned with ‘Evaluating the efficacy of implementing the policy of Magnet Music schools in Gauteng with special focus on the teaching and learning of Indigenous African music’. The broad research question is enquiring about the pedagogy and learning content used in teaching indigenous African music. Miss Mnyani is also a lead singer for her Mnandi Blue Jazz band.

PETRO JANSE VAN VUUREN BIO

Dr. Petro Janse van Vuuren is an Applied Theatre learning strategist and researcher. Through her work she strives to inspire and equip those who inspire and equip others for social and organisational transformation. Currently Petro is researching the effectiveness of strategic narrative embodiment models for designing social change interventions in organizational settings. She is appointed as post doctoral research fellow and PhD co-ordinator at Drama for Life, Wits University and she runs a consulting business in organizational development, Playing Mantis.  Here she trains organisation development practitioners and business coaches in applied theatre methodologies. She has worked with Mediclinic, Barclays, FNB, SAB Miller, Momentum and many more. Petro has published a number of articles and book chapters on her work and is no stranger to conferences on applied theatre or organisation development in South Africa.

 

Thulile Gamedze is an artist, writer, and member of the art collective iQhiya, based in Cape Town, South Africa. She is currently studying a Master’s degree at the University of Cape Town, researching and practicing creative and experimental learning methodologies framed as urgent artistic and political interventions. Thuli keeps her mind occupied with impossible thoughts, unreal places, weird education strategies and conversations with interested parties.
THULI GAMEDZE BIO

Thulile Gamedze is an artist, writer, and member of the art collective iQhiya, based in Cape Town, South Africa. She is currently studying a Master’s degree at the University of Cape Town, researching and practicing creative and experimental learning methodologies framed as urgent artistic and political interventions. Thuli keeps her mind occupied with impossible thoughts, unreal places, weird education strategies and conversations with interested parties.

GENEVIEVE LOUW BIO

Genevieve Jeanne Louw is a Visual Artist/Art Educator and Activist. She graduated from Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2009 and completed an MA in Fine Art from Wits University on 2017. She currently runs the educational programme for GALA (Gay and Lesbian Archive/Memory in Action) focusing on diversity training in schools.

She also forms one half of  SiyafundisaNa: a collaboration between Puleng Plessie and Genevieve Louw based in Johannesburg that seeks to rethink/problematise art educational practice through performance and dialogue informed by the experience of co-facilitating and experimentation.

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

TAMMY STEWART BIO

Tammy Stewart is a Masters student based in Johannesburg with a specific interest in arts education advocacy. Her research is about advocacy movements over the past 25 years, globally and locally, that have influenced arts education as we know it today, and begins to consider how arts education may be shaped in the future. After graduating with a BA in Fine Arts in 2015, Tammy went on to be an intern for the 2015 ACT|UJ Conference and has attended every one since then. Now two thirds into her MA in Cultural Policy and Management, Tammy has returned to the conference to speak about her research.’

MOTSUMI MAKGALE MAKHENE BIO

Motsumi Makgale Makhene is an art educationist, cultural activist and policy analyst. Makhene is founder member of SAMRO Foundation and Institute for African Innovation (IFAI) and is passionate about community education, social entrepreneurship through the arts, technology, adult education and early childhood development.  As the chairperson, the Spin Foundation and Chairperson and Acting Director, Funda Community College Makhene has played an active role in South African Arts and Culture. Motsumi is also a Practicing composer, arranger, poet/lyricist and producer, visual artist and design enthusiast.

CONTRIBUTING ORGANISATIONS

ABOUT SHAKESPEARE SCHOOLS FESTIVAL
The Shakespeare Schools Festival is the flagship project of The Shakespeare Schools Foundation. It is based on the UK Model of the festival and was first piloted n South Africa in 2011. It is now a constantly growing festival with a national scope. High school pupils are invited to produce thirty-minute versions of Shakespeare plays and perform them in the local theaters. The Shakespeare Schools Festival aims to engage young actors in the process of taking Shakespeare outside the classroom, and giving high school pupils a chance to learn and appreciate Shakespeare by means of a live performance. The mission is to improve the understanding of Shakespeare in school, especially as it is such an important part of English syllabus in South African schools.
ABOUT ASSITEJ

ASSITEJ South Africa is a registered NPO established in 2007, which operates as a networking platform for people working with or interested in theatre for children and young people. It aims to promote and foster high quality theatre for children and young people, to raise standards within the industry, to increase access and awareness, to be an advocate for the right of every child to arts education in schools, to build relationships and promote awareness within the sector locally, nationally, across the continent and globally through networking, organising exchanges, touring performances, and by facilitating contacts.

ABOUT SACO

NJABULO SITHEBE

Presenting a combination of Private and Public sector experience spanning 16 years – focused on driving the delivery of economic development solutions and opportunities in South Africa.  Njabulo has been part of economic development work & consulting for various South African State Owned Companies (Blue IQ & Coega),  consulted for Transnet, and previously worked as a Senior Economist for KPMG and Standard Bank’s Economics Division. Njabulo has worked as an Advisor, Economic Policy to various politicians, he is also the Deputy Head of Research at South African Cultural Observatory, he is also the Project Manager for a  Agricultural Sector Climate Change Resilience Project funded by the International Fund Agency for Agricultural Development (IFAD). He has been a lead economist: for a Creative Industries Research Project at the DAC: his work included an assessment of key economic indicators such as employment, demographics, outputs, ratios, turnover, value-add, profits, foreign exchange, exports (2013 &2017).

 

AMY SHELVER
Amy is a project manager with 12 years’ experience in media and communications; and a strong practice-based know-how at the nexus of arts & culture, development and media. She has a degree in journalism (TV), anthropology and psychology – all with distinction – from Rhodes University and an honours degree cum laude in Anthropology. Amy completed her Masters in Development Studies, with distinction in 2012, at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). She is currently reading for her PhD in Art History.

She has a good understanding of the multiple mediums of media and how to integrate them for articulate communication of key messaging. For a number of years Amy headed Meropa Communications’ National Corporate Division and Port Elizabeth branch working across a range of industries. She is a 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow, USA President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), & a 2014 Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber’s Top 40 under 40. Currently she is the marketing & communications manager for the South African Cultural Observatory, and supports on creative economy research. She is also a director at Numb City Productions/the n_mb city project, a social entrepreneurship initiative designed to support and grow urban creative economies.

ABOUT THE CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT TRUST

The CDP works with groups of people living in the Johannesburg Inner City, Bertrams, Ellis Park Precinct and Johannesburg East area to build collective care for our own environment and immediate communities: to beautify parks and public spaces; with children to create a lantern festival; to use the arts to heal the pain of xenophobia and prejudice.

Originally conceived to develop creative arts curricula for the public schools system in an independent South Africa, CDP today still maintains projects to advance and develop arts learning and teaching in the schools. These include working with teachers and students to make masks for the Gauteng Children’s Carnival; and organising secondary schools to learn about, and place on their walls, South Africa’s national symbols. The CDP developed the Artist in Schools Policy Document which was approved in January 2013.

ABOUT NEPAD

The NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) was established in 2010 as an outcome of the integration of NEPAD into AU structures and processes. The NEPAD Agency is the implementing agency of the African Union that advocates for NEPAD, facilitates and coordinates the development of NEPAD continent-wide programmes and projects, mobilises resources and engages the global community, regional economic communities and member states in the implementation of these programmes and projects. The NEPAD Agency replaced the NEPAD Secretariat which had coordinated the implementation of NEPAD programmes and projects since 2001.