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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

Arts and Science collaborate in creating sustainable futures
2016-03-16

Description: Dr Keith Armstrong Tags: Dr Keith Armstrong

Creating a future where living green is the status quo: Dr Keith Armstrong
Photo: Lihlumelo Toyana

In creating partnerships across disciplines, mankind gains a deeper understanding of how to create the future. This is the premise upon which Dr Keith Armstrong bases his research and experimental art. Dr Armstrong is an Australian Hybrid Media artist and a Senior Research Fellow at Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

Artists that make things happen

“My journey has shifted from an artist that makes things to an artist that makes things happen,” he said at the New Futures: Innovations in Arts and Science public talk recently at Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The talk, organised by the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery, was part of a series of artistic projects presented by the Programme for Innovation in Arts and Development (PIAD). This initiative is spearheaded by the UFS and Vrystaat Arts Festival, kindly supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Dr Angus Hervey – an Australian writer, technologist and science communicator– was also a speaker at the event. Dr Hervey is a co-founder of Future Crunch, a platform for intelligent, optimistic thinking about the future. He strongly shares Dr Armstrong’s passion and viewpoints.

Dr Armstrong’s work is motivated by social and ecological justice. His non-traditional research and more than 60 artworks serve to evoke audiences to create sustainable futures.

Building the future

Dr Armstrong is in the process of making “things happen” in informal settlements across the Free State by means of his Re-Future project. The project brings together sustainability, community development, and creative action. It moves away from conventional art practices and instead offer a platform to rethink and therefore re-future our practices of sustainability.

The Re-Future project has been initiated through a collaboration between the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery, the UFS Centre for Development Support (CDS) and Qala Phelang Tala (QPT) and the Vrystaat Art Festival.

According to Anita Venter, a lecturer at CDS and founder of QPT, empowerment is at the centre of the artist-initiated, yet community-controlled project. “It gives a new direction and new hope to the community,” she said.

For more information
Angela de Jesus, dejesusav@ufs.ac.za or +27(0)51 401 2706

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