The SARChI Arts of Africa Research Team (AART) held its first research workshop from the 16th to the 19th of June at the Continuing Education Centre at Rhodes. The workshop was opened by the Deputy Dean of Humanities, Prof Enocent Msindo, on Youth Day, and the following day the DVC of Research and Development, Dr Peter Clayton, discussed issues of publishing and the value of knowledge production. AART, led by DST/NRF SARChI Chair, Prof Ruth Simbao, is currently made up of seven PhD students (Andrew Mulenga, Paul Cooper, Eben Lochner, Nancy Dantas, Nkule Mabaso, Rachel Baasch and Zamansele Nsele), eight Masters students (Jean-Sylvain Tshilumba Mukendi, Tinika Nuen, Philiswa Lila, Gladys Kalichini, Ivy Brandie Chemutai Ng’ok, Courtney Scott, Thando Mama and Churchill Madikida) and three Honours/4th year students (Sikhumbuzo Makandula, Natasha Bezuidenhout and Buhle Siwendu).
A core goal of the team is to collaborate with artists and scholars working in other African countries. In April, 4th year Fine Art student, Sikhumbuzo Makandula, collaborated with Zimbabwe-based artist, Moffat Takadiwa, to produce the performance “In Search of a Nation” at Njelele Art Station in Harare. From the 25th to the 30th of June, Simbao ran the first international Arts and Culture: Writers in Africa (ACWA) Publishing Workshop with participants Aidah Nalubowa (artivists 4 life, Uganda), Dr Alexandra Dodd (independent writer and editor, Cape Town), Andrew Mulenga (Zambian arts writer and PhD student at Rhodes), Dr Angelo Kakande (Makerere University, Uganda), Eria Nsubuga (artist, Uganda), Fadzai Muchemwa (Co-curator, National Gallery of Zimbabwe), Prof George Kyeyune (Makerere University, Uganda) and Dr Pauline Bullen (Women’s University of Africa, Zimbabwe). Participants are currently working on an issue of the African Arts journal that is associated with the African Studies Centre at the University of California, Los Angeles and is published by MIT Press.