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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

UFS arts are experiencing a boom
2013-09-03

 
Dot Vermeulen
3 September 2013

The arts at the University of the Free State are experiencing a boom, with several Kovsie artists achieving on a national platform. Dot Vermeulen, a junior lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts, is the latest UFS artist to be honoured nationally as the winner of the 2013 Sasol New Signatures art award. 

The award is rewarding emerging young artists. The winning entry, entitled “Desperately disciplined,” by Vermeulen, who is currently studying toward her master’s degree in Visual Arts, was chosen from approximately 400 entries. 

Earlier this year, Pauline Gutter, a former Kovsie, won the Absa L’Atelier competition, which is South Africa’s most prestigious art competition. The year before, another former student from our Department of Fine Arts, Elrie Joubert, won the competition. 

Vermeulen says there are brilliant people at the UFS who are active in visual arts at various levels. "People such as Janine Allen-Spies (lecturer in painting) and Angela de Jesus (curator of the Stegmann gallery) are not only good artists, they are also involved with the community and invest a great deal of energy into the development of young artists. From my own experience, I can say that I have benefited a lot from academic scholarships from the UFS in the course of my study career." 

She says her winning entry refers to the relationship between traditional tactile painting and contemporary digital media. "The focus is especially on hidden moments of absorption and correspondence during the art-making process. The painting installation depicts a reading nude figure on a couch. A computer screen is mounted on a stand in front of the painting, animating the same image, while at the same time blocking the view of the painting. In the animation, the nude figure pages through her book from time to time, with the paint and digital drawing marks moving around her. The text “Envoi is typing…” is also animated on the surface of the couch repeatedly. It is suggestive of internet chat boxes, which often pop up on the screen while I am working on my laptop." 

As winner of the Sasol New Signatures art award, Vermeulen won R60 000 and the opportunity of a solo art exhibition in the Pretoria Art Museum. 

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