Art Deco Africa Research Group
Newly established research group, The Art Deco Workparty has begun a series of site visits to explore the presence of Art Deco architecture in Africa. The collective of architects, artists and writers includes: Pamila Gupta, Ivan Vladislavić, Noëleen Murray, Jonathan Cane, Ruth Sacks, Johan Lagae, Alexander Opper.
Wits City Institute Honorary Research Fellow Melissa Tandiwe Myambo presented a special seminar in which she discussed her research on the impact of digital technologies in the co-constitution and entanglements of virtual and real cultural worlds.
The Andrew W. Mellon Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism and Director of the Wits City Institute Professor Noëleen Murray co-hosted the Harvard School of Design’s Professor Toni L. Griffin to a masterclass convened to review and critique the City of Joburg’s Corridors of Freedom initiative.
Life in the City and Wits City Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Jill Weintroub presented Making Maps: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Digital Mapping for Spatial and Social Justice, a paper based on her JoziQuest project, at the Eleventh Global Studies Conference Subjectivities of Globalisation in Granada, Spain.
Re-Centering AfroAsia: Musical and Human Migrations in the Pre-Colonial Period 700-1500AD is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Hosted at the University of the Witwatersrand, the 2018 conference saw performances, papers and posters.
Wits City Institute Researcher Mpho Matsipa discussed the African Mobilities exhibition (23 April – 19 August 2018) at the Architekturmuseum at TU München. The exhibition revolved around seven pedagogical platforms across 7 cities in Africa and the diaspora, with a final platform in Munich on 26 April 2018.
Andrew W. Mellon Chair of Critical Architecture and Urbanism and Wits City Institute Director Noëleen Murray, in collaboration with the Director of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study, Peter Vale, co-edited The Politics of Urban Life: Social Activism and the City of Johannesburg, a publication arising from the Performative Urbanisms and the City of Johannesburg workshop.
The African Studies Association and the American Anthropological Association hosted the second Africa in the World joint conference in Johannesburg in partnership with the Wits City Institute, the journal Anthropology Southern Africa, the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, and the University of Pretoria’s Department of Political Sciences.
Mellon Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities Master’s Fellow Bianca van Heerden’s exhibition Home after Eviction: A Photographic Essay of Munsieville, Extracts from the Collection Still/Life, was hosted by the Wits City Institute and presented at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, University of the Witwatersrand.
Social Practice in Architecture, Museums, and the Arts was jointly convened by Wits City Institute and Wenner-Gren Doctoral Fellow Njabulo Chipangura in collaboration with Wits City Institute Honorary Research Fellow Steven Sack to explore the representations of inequality and social practices of inclusion
Wits City Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Jill Weintroub reports on her Life in the City research project at the first Wits City Institute seminar of 2018. Weintroub’s project, provisionally titled JoziQuest, seeks to build a digital mapping site aimed at making visible the spatial histories and cultural memories attached to sites in Johannesburg, selected for their links to Hermann Kallenbach and Mohandas Gandhi.
Wits City Institute Mellon Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities Master’s Fellow Nocebo Bucibo’s exhibition iHostela Ngeliny’iKhaya, Regarding Photography as a Just Image opened at the Workers Museum in Newtown, Johannesburg, as part of the fulfillment of her Master of Arts in Fine Arts in the Wits School of Arts.
Wits City Institute Mellon Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities Doctoral Fellow Lisa Vetten presented an extract from her doctoral research ‘Governing Rape: The Biopolitics of Sexualized Violence’ at the symposium WellSexuality: Youth and Contemporary Notions of Sexuality in South Africa.
Andrew W. Mellon Chair of Critical Architecture and Urbanism and Wits City Institute Director Noëleen Murray delivered her inaugural lecture presenting her intellectual interests in the role, place and disciplinary histories of Johannesburg through her current research project ‘The New South’.
Wits City Institute Researcher Mpho Matsipa is researcher and curator for the exhibition African Mobilities: This is not a refugee camp, at the Architekturmuseum der TU München. The exhibition is conceptualised as a space, a conference, a digital publication or website, and a mobile pedagogical platform.
Wits City Institute Researcher Mpho Matsipa shared her experience as curator of Studio X, Johannesburg, an experimental platform for art, architecture, and urbanism, in a presentation to the Mapping the Future International Conference on African arts and cultures.
Wits City Institute Fellows Bianca van Heerden, Morgen Zivhave, Brittany Birberick and Dumisa Dlamini presented research at a seminar convened by Wits City Institute Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow Jonathan Cane. The presentations provoked compelling and relevant questions about Gauteng.
Wits City Institute Honorary Research Fellow Steven Sack launched an innovative virtual reality exhibition making use of cutting-edge technology to ask questions about human origins. The show is located at the Tshimologong Precinct and at the Origins Centre, both at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Wits City Institute Honorary Research Fellow Melissa Myambo convened a seminar to bring scholars from the humanities and spatial disciplines into conversation with urban developers and local government officials to address issues related to the City of Johannesburg’s historically-conditioned spatial politics.
Peformative Jozi, a Special Issue of the journal Thesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical Sociology, is guest edited by Andrew W. Mellon Chair of Critical Architecture and Urbanism and Wits City Institute Director Noëleen Murray in collaboration with Peter Vale, Director of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study.
Wits University Press and the Society, Work and Development Institute launched Labour Beyond Cosatu: Mapping the Rupture in South Africa’s Labour Landscape edited by Andries Bezuidenhout and Malehoko Tshoaedi. The book surveys the opinions and lifestyles of members of trade unions affiliated to the Congress of South African Trade Unions.
The Wits City Institute hosted a presentation by Jean Allman, Director of the Center for the Humanities and co-principal researcher on its Divided City Initiative, an Andrew W. Mellon-funded project in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities.
Andrew W. Mellon Chair of Critical Architecture and Urbanism and Wits City Institute Director Noëleen Murray delivered a public lecture titled Writing Place, Pushing Genre: Adventures across South Africa and Australia to the Sustainability Policy Institute at Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
The Wits City Institute in collaboration with the African Centre for Migration and Society hosted a public lecture addressed by visiting Mellon scholar Professor Ayse Caglar from the University of Vienna’s Department of Culture and Social Anthropology.
The Wits City Institute hosted Ângela Ferreira’s South Facing at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Curated by Amy Watson, the exhibition included recent and previously unseen work as well as a commission in response to the Gallery’s controversial Meyer Pienaar extension.
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Chair of Critical Architecture and Urbanism and Director of the Wits City Institute Professor Noëleen Murray hosted ‘City Dialogues’, a presentation by former Washington DC Mayor Anthony Williams, in conjunction with the United States Consul General Christopher Rowan.
Exhibition and Conference
The Wits City Institute partnered with the University of Namibia, the Museums Association of Namibia, and the Municipality of Usakos to present Photographs beyond Ruins as part of the international conference ‘Circulations’: the (un)making of Southern Africa beyond and across borders.
Wits City Institute Director Noëleen Murray chaired the Performative Urbanisms workshop with Peter Vale of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study, with contributions from Visiting Scholars Peter Beilharz of Curtin University, Perth, Trevor Hogan and Julian Potter from the Thesis Eleven Centre, La Trobe University, and Sian Supski of Monash University.
Wits City Institute Performance
Wits City Institute Fellow Tarryn Lee’s Master of Arts by Research in Drama and Film project culminated in the performance piece Beyond the linoleum colon, based on an investigation into how the space of the hospital is shaped by the stories told within its walls.
Wits City Institute Fellow Abdulwaagied Charles participated in a workshop at the Centre Dürrenmatt in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, initiated as part of a collation of projects established to think anew about the work of the great Swiss playwright, Friedrich Dürrenmatt.
Phindezwa Mnyaka presented ‘The Profane and the Prophetic at a South African beach’ at the Wits City Institute’s Seminar Series. Her paper proposed a reading of photographs by Joseph Denfield and Daniel Morolong through the lens of circular time that sees images as potentially recalling the past while prefiguring the future.
The Wits City Institute hosted a screening of Ruzza Wazzi’s installation ‘Stitch Me Up’. The immersive video and music production seeks to document Ruzza’s experiences as a migrant living in the liminal space of Hillbrow and to communicate a sense of his personal journey and quest for liberation, a process many migrants are confronted with.