Transformation Summit

Silent Protest 2016


Call for papers

The Rhodes University (RU) Silent Protest Planning Committee invites submissions of papers and other relevant material for publication in the RU Silent Protest 10th anniversary publication. The publication will be launched in August 2016 and is designed to mark ten years of commitment to the objectives of the RU Silent Protest.

The objectives of the protest are to:

  • raise awareness about the problems of (and surrounding) rape and sexual violence in South Africa;
  • stand in solidarity with victims and survivors of rape and sexual violence;
  • problematise and directly challenge the silencing of the victims and survivors of rape and sexual violence, which occurs in their families, communities, and in our institutions of justice, and to therefore problematise and challenge the silence with which rape and sexual violence is shrouded in South Africa;
  • encourage and enable victims and survivors of sexual violence to break the silence and to speak out about their experiences in spaces in which they feel supported;
  • contribute to social change.

The RU Silent Protest grew out of the “One in Nine” 2006 campaign whose purpose was to draw attention to the fact that only one in nine women who are raped in South Africa will report the rape to the police. The RU Silent Protest is currently the biggest annual demonstration against sexual violence in South Africa and is now also hosted by other universities, NGOs, and communities across South Africa.

For this publication, we invite submissions of papers, think pieces, reflections, narratives, poems, photographic material, and artwork that speak to the objectives of the RU Silent Protest. We particularly encourage submissions on the following themes:

  • Silencing
  • Cultures of Rape, Cultures of Violence
  • The Community against Sexual Violence
  • Sexual Violence, Silent Protests and Social Change
  • Protests, Theory and Place.
  • The History of the Silent Protest
  • The Intellectual foundations of the Silent Protest
  • Participating in the Silent Protest
  • The RU Silent Protest and its Partners

The deadline for submissions is the 31st of May, 2016.

Submissions should be sent to Ms Babalwa Gusha at

Call for Student Participation

The #MustFall or Fallist movement has ushered in a period of intense debate about the meaning, pace, trajectory and limits of transformation in South African Public Higher Education Institutions. Central to this debate is the interrogation of leadership and the leadership of efforts aimed at transforming these institutions from colonial and apartheid universities to post- apartheid institutions.

From the University of Cape Town’s Rhodes Must Fall Movement’s identification of itself as the vanguard of institutional change to the Rhodes University’s Black Students’ Movement’s transmutation of the institution’s “Where Leaders Learn” slogan into “Where Learners Lead”, questions about the leadership of the transformation of the higher education system have been posed in various forms and forums.

Responding to the expressed need for the creation of spaces in which key leadership issues raised by the genesis of the 2015 South African Student Movements can be discussed, the Rhodes University Office of Equity and Institutional Culture will convene a conference entitled The Leadership of Transformation and the Transformation of Leadership in South African Higher Education Institutions on the 22nd and 23rd of April 2016.

Arts and Social Justice/Cohesion project

The project consists of two components:

Dialogues on Social Cohesion and Social Justice during July and August and a Colloquium in September

Three dialogues are planned to take place on the following dates:

11 July hosted by Fingo Festival, 24 July hosted by Rhodes Fine Art department and 25 August  hosted by Upstart.

The colloquium will be hosted at Rhodes University on the 25th September 2015.

This project’s goals are placing art and visuality at the centre of a series of conversations and acts oriented around conditions of abjection and conflict that mark the post-apartheid. It is a response to two provocations: the University of the Free State’s Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ) which has placed race, reconciliation and social cohesion at the centre of its scholarly inquiry following racist incidents on the university campus in 2008 known as the ‘Reitz incident’; and the public and institutional disputes over the Cecil John Rhodes statue in Cape Town in 2015 which were catalysed by students to draw attention to ongoing forms of racism and exclusionary practices at universities that cut across scholarship, administrative practice, architecture and place and its concomitant visuality.

The project thus aims to extend such debates by considering art and visual culture as intervening or intermediary agents that allow for a foray into historical, social, geographic, theoretical and political arenas. It does so by drawing together three sites in Grahamstown that have taken up the task of art work in different forms: The Rhodes University School of Art, Upstart Youth Development Project and the Fingo Festival.

Human Rights Week 2016

Human Rights Week is part of the Office of Equity and Institutional Culture’s Awareness Program. It is an opportunity to reflect on the progress South Africa and the world at large has made in the recognition of the rights of all human beings across race, class and gender.

Human Rights Week falls on the month of March annually and this is due to the observing and commemoration of 21 March 1960, historically known as Sharpeville Day when innocent lives were lost under the brutal apartheid regime. This event escalated to this brutal violence as it is the day that the Pan-African Congress under the leadership of Robert Sobukwe had organised the anti-pass march. This was a peaceful march where protesters would deliberately not carry passes and march to the police station in order to demand arrest. This was an act of showing that the Pass Laws (which sought to police the movement of black and brown people of this land) was an unjust law.

This peaceful protest was met with brutal police violence. Many of the killed and wounded had been shot in the back, thus showing that they were running from this response.

Sharpeville Day was known as one of the most tragic days in the history of apartheid South Africa.

Nationally, Sharpeville Day is observed as Human Rights Day in order to talk to the fact that all human beings have a right to exist with dignity not only within the borders of South Africa but across the globe.

The Office of Equity and Institutional Culture has planned a series of events and talks that seek to encourage Rhodes University to reflect on this very important event:




14-15 March





What does Human Rights Day Mean to me

15 March




Mbokodo: Black Women in the Revolution


In Conversation with Dr Vashna Jagarnath

16 March



Eden Grove Blue

Student Support

Programme, The

invisible hand to

academic success

17 March



Adelaide Tambo

Residence Talk with Ms. Zubeida Jaffer


Victoria Mxenge

Residence Talk with Ms. Zubeida Jaffer

Prof Ngui Wa Thong'o: (Decolonizing the University-what will it take?)