This symposium marks the first anniversary of the fire that destroyed the Jagger Reading Room, and much of the African Studies collections at the University of Cape Town. This was not the only African archive or institution to burn in 2021.
The Centre for Curating the Archive hosts the final, concluding session of the Spirals virtual seminar series on Friday 17 December 2021 3-4:30pm (SAST). This session considers the collecting of linguistic data in the southern African context, and the knowledge practises and orders it links into.
The Spirals talk “Weaving” by Dr Magdalena Buchczyk explored the historical ethnography of the textile collections at the Museum of European Cultures (MEK) in order to tell a story about the museum throughout the 20th century. The case study which Dr Buchczyk focused on for her presentation was that of the woven carpets (Masurian weaving collection especially) which she uses as an example to explore the following question: what would happen if we took the notion of weaving seriously in our thinking about museums?
The CCA hosts another session of the Spirals virtual seminar series on Friday 26 November, 12-1:30pm. This session considers the question of 'Weaving', as an open-ended term referring to the practise of tying together, in this case histories as materialised in textiles that are incorporated into museum and heritage settings.
The Spirals virtual seminar series session on the 29th of October hosted Nnenna Onuoha, a Ghanaian-Nigerian researcher and artist based in Berlin, as the speaker with Dylan Valley, a filmmaker and lecturer in the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, as the discussant.
Alma Vorster was one of the first two MFA students I supervised, along with my colleague Stephen Inggs in the late 1980s. The other was Jo Ractliffe. For both of us, they were challenging, committed students, engrossed in their work, and possessed of deep inner lives revealed in curious and engaging ways in their prints.
Dr George Mahashe has been awarded a prestigious UCT College of Fellows' Young Researcher Award for his project —defunct context. The College of Fellows recognises outstanding scholarly work by young academics who have made significant independent contributions to research in their field.
We are delighted to host Nnenna Onuoha, a Ghanaian-Nigerian researcher and artist based in Berlin, as our speaker. Titled 'Hauntings' the next session turns to the possibilities of the spectral, ghosts and spirits as a creative point of entry into the past.
Sir Zanele Muholi, one of South Africa’s most famous and most exhibited artists, and one whose work explores gender and sexuality, told me in an interview once that the people in her work Face and Phases (a series of portraits taken since 2006) are not her subjects as the photographer.
After the August break, we return with another Spirals virtual seminar hosted by the Centre for Curating the Archive. On Friday, 17 September (3-4:30pm SAST) we host Hannes Hacke, research associate and curator at the interdisciplinary Research Center for the Cultural History of Sexuality at Humboldt-University, Berlin. His talk is titled 'Codifying Desire: Documenting and Exhibiting Sexuality'.
The Constantia Heritage and Education project, in collaboration with the Centre for Curating the Archive, Christ Church Constantia, Iziko Museums and photographer Kent Andreasen, will be hosting an exhibition for Heritage Month 2021, featuring the dispersed community of Constantia split up by the Groups Areas Act.
There is no Spirals session scheduled for August since most researchers and academics in Berlin are taking their leave this month. We invite you to take this opportunity to catch up on any of the sessions you might have missed.