In addition to a keynote address by the highly respected writer and inspirational speaker Dr Sindiwe Magona, the opening evening will be addressed by Deputy Vice Chancellor of UCT, Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo. The first panels for Saturday morning are titled “Abundance” and “(Over) Abundance”, the third on Saturday afternoon “Euphoria,” and Sunday’s panel “Affinities”.
A striking characteristic of the panels is that they feature speakers from a range of disciplines. Amongst several others are Wits University’s Thembinkosi Goniwe (Fine Art); Edgar Pieterse (Director of UCT’s African Centre for Cities); Deborah Posel (Director of the Institute for Humanities in Africa at UCT); Nick Shepherd (Associate Professor at UCT’s Centre for African Studies); Abdulkader Tayob (National Research Foundation Chair on Islam, African Publics and Religious Values); Gabi Ncgobo (co-founder of the Centre for Historical Reenactments in Johannesburg and graduate of the Centre for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York), Heidi Grunebaum (Research Associate at the Centre for Humanities Research, UWC), Anthea Buys (online editor for Art South Africa) and Sandy Rudd from Windhoek’s College for the Arts.
Writer for The Sunday Independent, head of South African Arts Writers and Critics Association and CNN African Journalism award winner Mary Corrigall speaks to the topic ReQuoting the Masters: Countering impoverishment through Dandyism, while internationally renowned scholar, curator, cultural theorist, and writer Jane Taylor looks at irrationality and excess in the face of destitution. The highly respected playwright and cultural activist Mike van Graan uses the examples of recently established networks such as the Afrifest Network of Festivals and the Arterial Network to address the responsibilities of society in taking ownership of cultural production and its dissemination. Dr Zethu Matebeni, also from HUMA, considers notions of exuberance and female bodies and same-sex interracial desire, while respected theatre director James Ncgobo will consider abundance and exuberance as perennial themes in his theatre productions, and artist, curator and academic Virginia MacKenny addresses issues of our natural world and environment.
The panels also feature several young award-winning artists and academics: Mamela Nyamza and Michael MacGarry (Standard Bank Young Artist winners and Donald Gordon Fellows), Christopher Swift (Spier Contemporary) and Mwenya Kabwe (Fleur du Cap).
The Exuberance Project aims to foster new views and fresh understandings of creativity in contemporary Africa, through consideration and celebration of what is extremely good, effusive and uninhibitedly enthusiastic. A particular application within the creative context of Southern Africa explores aesthetic capacities, as they appear in specific instances of the visual, textual, sound, performance, digital and virtual arts. Convened by Raél Jero Salley and Jay Pather; and presented by the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA), this weekend event will consist of a symposium, performances, exhibitions, panel discussions and film screenings at Hiddingh Hall, University of Cape Town (UCT) Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town and surroundings from 11 – 13 May 2012.
The Exuberance Project updated programme is available for download.