Architectural History and Theory Talk Series Online
On the 21st of April 2020, Architectural History and Theory at the GSA kicks off the Talks and Workshop Series Online. An important part of Transformative Pedagogies is to develop ways of thinking through architectural knowledge production to enable a critical reading of discourses and a speculative approach to crafting /writing the past and future. This short interdisciplinary series engages with architectural knowledge as situated within a broader field and wider context, including architectural practice, archaeology, literature, art, performance studies, music and history. An exciting line-up of speakers and coordinators take us through their own research and practice, engaging with different parts of the African continent, close and far. In light of Covid-19, this series is now online and open to all.
Zoom Meeting ID: 990 039 7159
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the password to attend.
Watch the recorded sessions on our YouTube channel.
Tuesday 21 April 2020
—Presented by Dr. Huda Tayob
THAT PLACE IS CREEPY
The Role of Fear, Secrecy and Concealment in the Potency of Ritual Spaces in the Kuruman area of the Northern Province
—Presented by Dr. Sechaba Maape (Wits)
Dr Sechaba Maape is an architect and senior lecturer at the Wits School of Architecture and Planning. After completing his Masters in Architecture (Professional)(WITS) he went on to undertake a PhD in architecture (WITS) supervised by Dr Daniel Irurah. His thesis explored people/place relationships, ritual and climate change adaptation among prehistoric indigenous communities in Kuruman in the Northern Cape Province. His research enquiries led him to engage archaeological and paleontological material in-depth, guided through the co-supervision of Professor Benjamin Smith who at the time directed the Rock Art Research Institute (RARI) then later Professor Francis Thackeray who was the director of the Wits Institute of Human Evolution. In his research, Dr Maape has always investigated the manner in which people survived change and variability, especially environmental change. His main finding, being that rituals played a significant role in fostering psychological, social and thus ecological adaptation, directed him to engage modern ritual spaces in South Africa towards deepening our understanding of the role of these practices and places in modern society.
Tuesday 28 April 2020
WORDS AS OBJECTS
—Presented by Dr. Ruth Sacks (GSA)
ABUJA: A NEW CAPITAL FOR NIGERIA
—Presented by Professor. Nnamdi Elleh (HOD Wits SOAP)
INHABITABLE IMAGINATIONS - DESIGNED FICTIONS
—Workshop Led by Fouad Asfour
Ruth Sacks (b. 1977, Port Elizabeth) is a South African visual artist and academic who lives in Johannesburg. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) for Social Change at Fort Hare University. Sacks holds a PhD (Arts) from the University of the Witwatersrand where she was a fellow at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER).Congo Style: From Art Nouveau to African Independence (Michigan Press and Wits University Press), the artist's first academic book, is forthcoming. In her creative practice, Sacks has exhibited widely both locally and internationally, at venues that include M KHA (2018), ZKM (2011), Performa ‘09 (produced by the Museum for African Art in New York, 2009) and the African Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2007). Her primary medium is the artist book, the most recent being Twenty Thousand Leagues Under Seas (2013).
Prof. Nnamdi Elleh, Ph.D., the Head of the School of Architecture and Planning in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Witwatersrand (WITS), Johannesburg, was Professor of Architecture, at the University of Cincinnati from 2002 to 2017. His publications include African Architecture, Evolution and Transformation (McGraw Hill, 1996), the first comprehensive text on African architecture from antiquity to the present Architecture and Power in Africa (Praeger, 2001), and Reading the Architecture of the Underprivileged Classes (2014). Research interests includes modern and contemporary architecture understood as diverse, multi- centered, regional and localized experiences in different parts of the world and art, architecture, public space, and politics as examined in his latest book Architecture and Politics in Nigeria (Routledge, 2017).Nnamdi.Elleh@wits.ac.za.
Fouad Asfour is a writer and editor working in collaborative frameworks on publications, exhibitions, performance and art exchange projects. He was part of documenta 12 magazines editorial team and is a member of the Dead Revolutionaries Club artist's collective. In 2011, he initiated the independent publishing project Pole Pole Press and is the co-founder of the self-organized student support initiative Thekgo Bursary. Asfour is part of the Black Feminist research project “Art On Our Mind” initiated by Dr Sharlene Khan at the Wits School of Arts, Wits University. He is working on a PhD research project about processes of unlearning through the use of creative writing, focussing on the performativity of self-writing in different languages South African visual artists’ practices. He holds an MA in linguistics from Vienna University and completed an MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa in 2017. In 2008, he was a grant recipient of the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory. Contact Fouad through social media as @polepolepress or email: email@example.com
Tuesday 05 May 2020
WHAT DO WE DEMAND FROM SPACE(S)?
—Presented by Thabang Monoa (Visual Art, UJ)
—Presented by Zen Marie (Fine Arts, Wits)
—Workshop led by Pandeani Liphosa & Lenhle Mavuso
Thabang Monoa’s academic and creative interests involve academic research, curatorship and visual culture. He has curated and participated in a number of art exhibitions; most notably contemporary glass exhibitions. Working and studying at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) at the University of Johannesburg, Monoa also lectures Art History in the faculty’s Visual Art department. His doctoral studies, which are being undertaken with the SARChI Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture, focus on the notion of Blackness in Afrofuturist aesthetics. Monoa is a member of the College Art Association(CAA), based in the United States of America and theSouth African Visual Art Historians (SAVAH).
Zen Marie is an artist who works in a variety of media. Core to his practice is a concern with how meaning and possibilities are produced through material and immaterial site, space and place. While working from a position that often begins with photography and film making this extends into performance, sculpture, graphic processes and writing. His areas of focus have included international sport, identity, nationalism, public infrastructure, food, urban space, aesthetics and forays into undisciplined decolonial philosophy. The links between these diverse areas is around the relationship between desire, power, agency and their subversive or revolutionary potential. Marie currently lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he is a Lecturer in Fine Art at the WITS School of Art. He is also a PhD candidate at WITS, with a focus on areas of art and theory in relation to what he calls situated aesthetic practice.
Siwe Ntombela is a researcher in the built environment programme at the South African Cities Network (SACN). Her interests lie in creatively activating community voices in ways that fundamentally drive co-productive spaces. Her current work at the SACN involves facilitating the visualisation studio, across South Africa's major cities, bringing together multidisciplinary urban actors for the development of future city visuals that reflect how spatial transformation could actualise itself.
Pandeani Liphosa is a Johannesburg based architect and creative thinker whose work revolves around analysing how post colonial cities help shape new ideas of community. Currently working as a senior Architect at Library Special Projects (LSP) he is primarily involved with work that explores how aggregated forms of memory-making can help enable marginalised groups orientate themselves within the present.
Tuesday 12 May 2020
WRITING AT THE END OF THE WORLD
—Writing Workshop with Bongani Kona (Writer & Chimurenga Editor)
EXPLORING RESPONSIVE PRACTICE THROUGH PERFORMANCE, INSTALLATION AND VIDEO-ART.
—Workshop Led by Farieda Nazier
Bongani Kona is a writer and contributing editor at Chimurenga, a pan African publication of arts, culture and politics. He completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Cape Town and is the co-editor of Migrations (2017), a collection of short fiction. His work has appeared in a variety publications and anthologies including Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction, The Daily Assortment of Astonishing Things and Other Stories, BBC Radio 4, and Hair: Weaving and Unpicking Stories of Identity. Kona was awarded the Ruth First Fellowship in 2019 and shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2016. Twitter: @KonaBongani
Tuesday 19 May 2020
—Presented by Dr. Judy Peter
Epistemological Becoming – Writing as Studio Practice
—Presented by Fouad Asfour
Judy Peter is an Associate Professor, art historian, curator and she is presently Director: Academic Services at the University of Johannesburg. She has published in the areas of gender studies, post-colonial studies and cultural studies in national and international journals and presented academic papers both nationally and internationally.
Fouad Asfour is a writer and editor working in collaborative frameworks on publications, exhibitions, performance and art exchange projects. He was part of documenta 12 magazines editorial team and initiated the independent publishing project Pole Pole Press. Asfour coordinated the international art education research network “Another Roadmap School” (2011-2014) and currently works for the Black Feminist research project “Art On Our Mind” initiated by Dr Sharlene Khan at the Wits School of Arts, Wits University. His PhD project researches processes of unlearning through the use of creative writing, focussing on the performativity of self-writing in South African visual artists’ practices. He holds an MA in linguistics from Vienna University and completed an MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University in Makhanda in 2017. In 2008, he was a grant recipient of the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory.