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22 August 2018
Prof Coetzee is retelling old stories in a new book
"Failing to Learn Doomed to repeat" was one of the bookworks on display.

The title of Prof Jan K Coetzee’s latest book, Books & Bones & Other Things, says it all. The book looks into the many aspects that have built our society by presenting in a new way the stories contained in old books collected over the years. 

Prof Coetzee is a Senior Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Free State (UFS). Books & Bones & Other Things was launched on 14 August 2018 and coincided with an exhibition of various “bookworks”   art installations by Prof Coetzee that feature old books, sculptures, artefacts, and fossils.
 
Book resulting from research programme 
   

“This is a book on books so the library is the perfect venue to launch a book on old texts as documents of life,” said Prof Coetzee.

For the past seven years he has been directing a Master’s and PhD programme in Sociology called The Narrative Study of Lives. His project, Documents of Life, from which this book came, focuses on a collection of old texts the oldest of which dates back to 1605.

“We live in storytelling societies and for as long as we can remember we have been telling stories. Over time the ability to produce books was born. Any collection of books can tell you a lot about your own life and the society you live in."

“I cannot read the stories of many of these old books because their narratives are closed. I have to re-narrate the books, change the narrative convention and present them in a way that makes sense to me. By combining the books with art and artefacts I want the books to tell their ancient stories in new ways.”

Book launches and intellectual discussions

At the book launch, Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research said: “What we have achieved with this launch and exhibition is unbelievable. We always try to create an intellectual space in the library.

“A book such as this is the pinnacle of an academic career. It is multidisciplinary and it looks at the world in a different way. That is what scholarship is about.”

A painting by Robert Hodgins was also handed over to the Johannes Stegmann Gallery, home of the corporate collection of the UFS, at the event. 

News Archive

Art collection reflects values of SA Bill of Rights
2017-09-14

Description: Zanele Muholi Art Exibition Tags: Zanele Muholi Art Exibition 

One of the photos that are on exhibition at the
Johannes Stegmann Gallery.
Photo: Supplied

Our human rights are enshrined in the constitution. This is exactly what the Art of Human Rights collection reflects, as it responds to the values and ideals instilled in the South African Bill of Rights.

This collection is currently on display at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery at the University of the Free State (UFS). The exhibition opened on 23 August and will run until 23 September 2017.

Work of renowned artists and poets on display
The collection features renowned artists and poets such as Virginia Mckenny, Busiswa Gqulu, Andries Botha, Kobus Moolman, and many more. There are also articles from prominent South Africans such as the late Ahmed Kathrada, Mike van Graan, Justice Edward Cameron, and former UFS Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen.

Collection engages 27 clauses in Bill of Rights
The Art of Human Rights is a print portfolio which is an initiative of Art for Humanity (AFH). It is a non-profit organisation, based in Durban, which engages with cultural production, specifically in the visual arts, to promote human rights awareness regionally and globally.

Twenty-nine South African artists and 27 poets have created artwork for the collection. They engaged with the 27 clauses of the Bill of Rights by looking at socio-economic issues which is still prevalent in the democratic diaspora of SA. The collection addresses issues such as racism, poverty, poor education, and lack to efficient health care. These are all threats to our young democracy.

Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery hours (Bloemfontein Campus): Monday to Friday 08:30–16:30

Description: Andries Botha Art exibition Tags: Andries Botha Art exibition

 

 

 

 

 

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