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21 May 2019 | Story Igno van Niekerk | Photo Stephen Collett
Digital storytelling
Collaborating for the common good are from left: Willem Ellis, Karen Venter, Dr Deidre van Rooyen, Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, and Dr Johan van Zyl.

Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences quoted the Cat Stevens song I can’t keep it in, to capture the excitement surrounding the opening of a Digital Storytelling Lab on the Bloemfontein Campus on 10 May 2019.

After months of hard work by Dr Deidre van Rooyen, Willem Ellis, Karen Venter, as well as the staff of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Centre for Development Support, the Common Good First lab was completed just in time for the launch attended by about 50 delegates from other South African universities, as well as private and public institutions.

Stories meet technology

In a message, from Prof Puleng LenkaBula, Vice-Rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs, and Community Engagement, informed the audience that the launch heralded the joining of the old world of stories with the new world of digital technology. Julie Adair, Director of Digital Collaboration at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, welcomed the UFS as a partner to this international social innovation collaborative project in a video message. 

Dr Van Rooyen, the project manager for the UFS, explained how she got involved in the Common Good First project, what the benefits of digital storytelling are, as well as what opportunities the lab creates for cooperation between role players involved in social innovation projects. 

Why the Common Good First lab?

The purpose of the lab is to create a digital network to identify, showcase and connect social innovation projects in South Africa to one another and to universities around the world for research, student engagement and learning and teaching. The lab has been fitted with state-of-the-art equipment for recording and digitising the stories that result from social innovation projects.

In a live Skype session with Dr Il-Haam Petersen, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and some of the recent successes of the digital stories in Philippi in the Western Cape were shared.

Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, UFS Director Community Engagement did the final honours by cutting the ribbon, declaring the lab open, and sharing the dream that the work done in this lab will contribute to positive relationships and cooperation between the university and the community, in making not only the university, but the country and the world a better place.


News Archive

UFS launches journal on name change
2008-11-14

 

At the launch of the journal on name change were, from the left: Prof. Johan Lubbe, research associate of the Unit for Language Management at the UFS and guest editor of the magazine, Dr Lucie Möller, expert on geographical names and place name expert - and also an occasional member of the United Nations' committee of experts, Dr Peter Raper, research associate of the Unit for Language Management at the UFS, and Prof. Theo du Plessis, Director of the Unit for Language Management at the UFS. The magazine is dedicated to Dr Möller.
Photo: Lacea Loader

UFS launches journal on name change

From all the language issues coved in the English and Afrikaans printed media, the name change of place names is receiving the most attention. This is according to Prof. Johan Lubbe, research associate from the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Unit for Language Management, during the recent launch of a journal on name change on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

In the journal it is found, among other, that, as a result of the nature of the new democratic foundation of the ANC controlled government which puts the interests of the majority first, there is a move in the thinking and execution of name change. In this way not only names change but art, culture and heritage matters are democratically thought through and planned.

“As a directive from the South African Language Board (Pansalb), the Unit for Language Management at the UFS annually compiles the SA Language Monitor which reports on the language rights situation in South Africa as mainly reported by the print media. Issues about name change appeared throughout and this is why the unit decided to publish a journal with various perspectives on this,” said Prof. Lubbe, who is also the guest editor of the journal.

Other topics discussed in the journal include, among others, language visibility, a historical overview of the change in place names, the Khoisan influence on naming and naming amongst Xhosa speakers.

In a contribution on language visibility it is found that geographical naming policy and the national language policy does not correlate and language visibility as language mechanism is not considered. In a historical overview on the change of place names it is found that name change was never a calculated, political process and only after 2000 mention was made of a conscious, orchestrated process of name change.

In a further contribution on the name change of Johannesburg International airport, it was found that the government, by ignoring the sentiments of the minority, made itself guilty of splitting the nation in spite of pronunciations that nation building is a priority. Where African languages are concerned, it was found that the English name is increasingly being discarded in favour of the Xhosa name. This is apparently connected to the language debate in South Africa.

The journal, “Kritiese perspektiewe op naamsverandering” (“Critical perspectives on name change”) is a supplement to the “Acta Academica”, an accredited national journal that is independently publishing selected research articles in the human sciences and interdissiplinary fields. Nine cooperators from across the country made contributions to the journal.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
14 November 2008
 

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