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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

Lecture by Judge Albie Sachs: ‘Sites of memory, sites of conscience’
2015-03-23

Judge Albie Sachs

Human rights activist and former Constitutional Court Judge, Albie Sachs, will deliver a public lecture on the Bloemfontein Campus. The topic of his discussion will be ‘Sites of memory, sites of conscience’. This lecture will form part of a series that focuses on how the creative arts represent trauma and memory – and how these representations may ultimately pave the way to healing historical wounds.

The details of the event are:
Date: Thursday 26 March 2015
Time: 12:30
Venue: Albert Wessels Auditorium, Bloemfontein Campus
RSVP: Jo-Anne Naidoo at Naidooja@ufs.ac.za
A South African Sign Language interpreter will be present at the event.

Joining Judge Sachs on stage as respondent will be Dr Buhle Zuma, a young scholar and lecturer at the University of Cape Town's Psychology Department.

Expressing experiences of trauma
Judge Sachs is no stranger to the use of the arts as a way of expressing the inarticulable and overwhelming experiences of trauma. Targeted as an anti-apartheid freedom fighter, he lost his right arm and was blinded in one eye in a car bomb attack in 1988. As a judge of the Constitutional Court, he spearheaded conversations about the role of the arts in our constitutional democracy. This has led to the installation of some of the best artworks by South African artists at the Constitutional Court.

Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Trauma, Memory, and Representations of the Past
This lecture will launch of the Vice Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Trauma, Memory and Representations of the Past. It forms part of a five-year research project led by Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, funded by the Mellon Foundation. The event is hosted by the UFS Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies.

“One of the most remarkable aspects of trauma,” Prof Gobodo-Madikizela says, “is the loss of language, a moment of rupture that produces what some scholars have referred to as ‘speechless terror’. The arts, in all its forms – literary, performance, and visual – are a viable mechanism through which the unspeakable, traumatic past may be represented.”

These artistic forms of representing trauma are at the heart of this Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series. “We are interested not only in how experiences that transcend language are represented through the arts,” Prof Gobodo-Madikizela explains, “but also in probing the limits of trauma theory, and how the creative arts might be employed to bear witness in a way that may open up the possibility of healing.”

Dr Buhle Zuma
Former Mandela Rhodes scholar and one of the 2011 Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans, Dr Zuma is particularly interested in issues at the heart of our rainbow nation. His current research revolves around the question of freedom: what it means to be human for black people after centuries of dehumanisation, and the role of desire and fantasy in the political imagination of post-apartheid South Africa.

 

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