by Mario Pissarra
Rory Bester is entitled to his opinion that Gavin Jantjes “has been away far too long and it showed” but owes it to readers to substantiate this claim.[i]
by Randolph Hartzenberg
[Originally presented at the Design Education Forum of South Africa conference at the Cape Technikon, now the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, June 2000]
A plague wind has been sweeping across Africa, blowing across stagnant pools of absurdity, deception and attrition. The wind tears into the new millennium. Attempts at reconciliation are cast adrift. It is with disbelief, though not unexpected, that one encounters South Africans, who having chosen the supremacist path of the pre-1994 era, and having swallowed the “race” classification pill then, are now still slaves to that deception. It seems they believe that stagnation is viable, that locking themselves inside “die huis van die dowes” is still an option. It is against the backdrop of these absurd ironies that the inspiration for an African Renaissance programme has emerged. A plan for unity, for the renewal of Africa. A plea for the re-humanisation of this traumatised continent. President Thabo Mbeki, has, like Robert Sobukwe decades before him, with urgency, repeatedly spoken of his vision for progress that embodies the concept of an African Renaissance.
by Mario Pissarra
[Paper prepared for the “Reconnecting Africa” panel at the “Transformation/Growth/ Opportunity” conference convened by the Visual Arts Network of South Africa, Hiddingh Hall Campus, UCT, 10 February 2006]
The title for this panel discussion should really be “connecting Africa ”. Certainly “reconnecting Africa ” is misleading if it implies that “Africa” was once connected, and that the restoration of this connection is currently on the agenda. A number of commentators, Ali Mazrui and Olu Oguibe (1993) among them, have made observations about the fictiveness of a united Africa, and how the term Africa has historically meant different things to different constituencies. Mazrui has argued that it was in fact western imperialism that inadvertently created the incentive for the notion of pan-Africanism to emerge, and pan-Africanism has been (and continues to be) more of an ideal than a reflection of actual relations between, on one hand, African countries; and on the other, between Africans on the continent and in the diaspora.
by Susan Glanville-Zini (CEO of Cape Africa Platform) and Julian Jonker (Coordinator of Sessions Ekapa), in conversation with Mario Pissarra
The Cape Africa Platform promises to deliver a mega-event that will be “not just another biennale”. The first major element in their plan is a conference, Sessions Ekapa, which takes place in Cape Town from 6-8 December 2005. The conference theme is “(re)locating contemporary African art” and will be followed with a multi-disciplinary “Manifestation” in 2006.