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10 March 2020 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Victor Sguassero (kykNET)
Chris Vorster
Chris was on stage in 'Die Hart Verklap' at the Toyota US Woordfees in Stellenbosch recently.

“Difficult and very strange,” is how Chris Vorster, veteran actor and Drama lecturer at the University of the Free State (UFS) describes his role as Bas Koorts in the supernatural thriller Die Spreeus

For Chris, the biggest challenge during the filming of Die Spreeus was to work in front of a green screen. “You never see the monsters and things attacking you, it is only added later on during the editing process,” he said. Therefore, he and his co-actors were expected to use their own imagination “to be frightened, and to duck and dive from something that does not exist.” 

This Afrikaans thriller series has recently been nominated in five categories of the South African Film and Television Awards, including Best Television Drama, Best Cinematography, and Original Sound and Sound Editing. 

Chris was also nominated for a Fiësta award in 2019 for his one-man performance in the theatre production, Die Hart verklap. “It is fantastic to still be recognised for my work,” he said, “but I also have to give recognition to Dion van Niekerk, because without a good director, any actor will be lost.” Van Niekerk also lectures Drama at the UFS.

Being a lecturer broadens his knowledge 

Chris joined the UFS Department of Drama and Theatre Arts in 2015 as lecturer in the programme for Film en Visual Media. “Everything I learn in the industry I apply as lecturer, and research and teaching feed more knowledge on acting, directing, and especially writing,” he said. After five years, being involved with the UFS Department of Drama is still exciting to him. “This is where both lecturers and students get encouraged to do more than just breathing.” 

With his busy schedule of teaching and acting, it remains important to him that South Africans are still able to tell stories – “in any language”. He considers it a privilege for anyone to work in their mother tongue. This is also why the symbiosis between his work as actor and lecturer is so appealing.

News Archive

Newton Fellow at UFS focuses on land and labour
2017-10-28

Description: ' 000 Rory Pilossof Tags: Rory Pilossof 

Dr Rory Pilossof
Photo: Charl Devenish

Dr Rory Pilossof is a senior lecturer in economics at the University of the Free State (UFS), a Postdoctoral Fellow at the International Studies Group at UFS, and a Research Fellow at the University of Kent in the UK.

He became interested in his research field when he studied land reform and land issues in Zimbabwe for his PhD at the University of Sheffield. From there, his research interests have expanded to look at other issues connected to land, such as whiteness and labour.

Dr Pilossof's study field links up with the important issue of land reform in Southern Africa due to its past colonialism and post-colonial politics of land and land ownership. These intersect with a wide range of labour issues that are pressing in the region. He has a keen interest in elite transitions and changes in economic structure in Southern Africa since the 1960s.

Dr Pilossof was nominated to the South African Young Academy of Science in 2017, and received an NRF Y1 rating during 2017. He is also a member of the Amsterdam-based International Institute for Social History’s ‘Global Collaboratory on the History of Labour Relations’. He is a participant in the Leverhulme Trust-funded initiative ‘Comparative History of Political Engagement in Western and African Societies Programme’ at the University of Sheffield.

Dr Pilossof's primary research focuses on issues of land, labour and changing social and economic structures in Zimbabwe and South Africa. He is also interested in finding alternative ways of looking at change. To this end, he has studied various newspapers and periodicals in the region.

Currently, he spends most of his research time as part of a three-year British Academy-funded Advanced Newton Fellowship into labour relations and occupational structures. In future, he wants to expand his research in the labour field by looking at labour and migration in the region over the course of the 20th century.

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