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Creative Practice in Sustainability
Magazines | Education 2011-06-23 03:45:24
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    www.ru.ac.za/elrc RE-IMAGINING CREATIVE PRACTICE IN SUSTAINABILITY 2-10 JULY 2011 The Eden Grove Hub THE SUSTAINABILITY COMMONS / ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING RESEARCH CENTRE / RHODES UNIVERSITY LUCAS AVENUE / GRAHAMSTOWN

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    The Re-imagining Forum consists of a series of lectures, workshops, exhibitions, performances and crafts that explore collective understandings of contemporary environmental concerns and creative practice in sustainability for further information visit www.ru.ac.za/elrc

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    The Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC) at Rhodes University produces state-of-the-art knowledge on environment and sustainability education, training and social learning. It promotes and encourages social scientific methodological innovation to produce knowledge of African education and social - ecological contexts. The "Re-imagining Forum" at the 2011 National Arts Festival is an initiative that forms part of the ELRC Sustainability Commons, a space for social innovation that engages the border zones between the academy, public sector and civil society, between theory and practice, knowledge, learning and human agency. As part of the dynamic artistic exchange that is the National Arts Festival the "Re-imagining Forum" will draw on creative tools and social dialogue to engage with connections/disconnections with prevailing trends in sustainability. Through activities that stimulate communal reflexivity and innovative civic engagement we will collectively Re-imagine our common future.

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    01 Lecture Series All lectures are free of charge. SIMON (MAX) BANNISTER Simon (Max) Bannister is an environmental artist who works with marine plastic waste as a medium, using sculpture, animation, film, photography and interactive installation in his work. Max is a significant contributor to the South African ecologically conscious art scene. Last year he took to the high seas to find the truth behind the myth of floating islands of plastic. Sailing for 30 days across the South Atlantic in a 72 ft Cutter (sail boat) with an inexperienced crew of nine, he will speak of his experience on the water and unusual insights about the monster that is plastic pollution. DYLAN MCGARRY Changing Climates: The role of artists in responding to climate change and environmental decline in South Africa Dylan McGarry is an Environmental Scientist and artist who currently co-ordinates the COPART forum. He is currently conducting his PhD in Environmental Education at the Environmental Learning Research Centre within Rhodes University's Education Department. His talk explores the value of artists and artful practitioners in the response to the prevailing disconnections in our social consciousness or culture, and reveals the work of pioneering South African creative practitioners who are working as embodied human beings, with the largely disembodied problems orbiting climate change and environmental decline. In particular, it will explore the role of artists contributing to the CONNECTING OUR PLANET AND RE-IMAGINING or COPART impulses that have emerged in South Africa as a creative social learning movement for artists and practitioners to explore new ways of working with the cultural responses that are needed for climate change and environmental decline. http://dontcopoutcopart.blogspot.com www.copartists.org www.climatefluencyexchange.com SIBONGILE MASUKU VAN DAMME CEO SAHRA Embracing intangible heritage within the cultural heritage sector: which way to go, erasure or social cohesion? A case of national liberation songs in the postapartheid South Africa. This presentation asks critical questions about how to address issues of social cohesion and erasure in current South Africa. The case of the public singing of "Dubul' bhunu", a liberation struggle song, has forced institutions that are responsible for the protection and management of tangible and intangible Cultural Heritage Resources, mandated by the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999, to enter public discussion. It explores this issue by considering a number of these songs, the memory and sentiments they hold for different South Africans. Through this SAHRA's position on their erasure and social cohesion will be deliberated.

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    ANN LAMONT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GREEN PEACE AFRICA Environmental Justice, Communications and Social Media; partnership for the future? Launched in November 2008, Greenpeace Africa has made unprecedented progress in the Democratic Republic of Congo, West and South Africa. An independent environmental campaigning organisation, Greenpeace now has over 10 000 registered supporters in South Africa alone. Greenpeace has three key campaigns: protecting the West African fishing grounds from being raided by unscrupulous foreign trawlers and their factory boats, bringing the loggers to book in the critical Congo Rain Forest and getting South Africa, the economic powerhouse of the continent, to turn away from dirty energy solutions and consider Greenpeace's Energy (R) Evolution instead. This presentation will draw lessons from some of Greenpeace's campaigns where art, communications and particularly Web 2.0 have played a big role in pushing their campaigns and winning important victories. Ann Lamont will delve into innovation, technology and other Web 2.0 social media and comment on how this medium is transforming our world and creating even more space for citizen discourse and action. MUMSIE GUMEDE CEO WESSA WESSA 85 years of creative practice: an urgent call to public participation. Throughout the 85 years of WESSA's activities, what lessons can we learn about sustainable development, given the contextual realities of the past eight decades? What inspiration can we draw from our forward-thinking pioneers, despite the limited information and knowledge of their time? How has the approach of promoting public participation in caring for the earth contributed to the reflective/reflexive growth of knowledge? What does it tell us about re-imagining our world, our practices and hence, our future? What is the role a Sustainability Commons in re-imagining our world, and how does its creation influence the goal of stable and healthy ecological systems and a healthier, happier society? It is not enough to abstain, we must actively rebuild. KYLA DAVIS Theatre and Climate Change: Who is doing what, where, and is it working? Kyla Davis is Creative Director and Performer with the Well Worn Theatre Company. Well Worn is a young and vibrant physical theatre company with a strong environmental ethos. Well Worn aims to create new and stimulating theatrical work around the themes of climate change and global warming, sustainable and holistic development, social justice and the ever-growing 'Eco-Consciousness' that is taking over our planet. It hopes to contribute towards creating a local and global society that values life above the vested interests of big business and bad governance. Davis will look at some inspiring examples of theatre artists and companies working both locally and globally, using theatre to raise awareness, make mischief and change hearts and minds around climate change as well as other eco/social themes. She will also examine Well Worn's body of work thus far, including the deep process work of their latest devised play, Planet B, using pictures, film clips and stories and engaging with the idea of 'Theatre Activism' in a round table discussion. FOOD AND TREES FOR AFRICA Urban Food-Foresting for the Next Generation. Started in 1990, Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) is a South African social enterprise that aims to realise sustainable development through greening, climate change action, sustainable natural resource management and permaculture food security programmes. FTFA has distributed over 4 million trees, facilitated the creation of thousands of organic food gardens for the poorest in South Africa and launched the first carbon calculator and the Carbon Standard (now the Carbon Protocol) in this country. Through a short exemplar workshop FTFA will demonstrate some of the more fun, exciting group work techniques it employs at its permaculture training. This will be an opportunity for those interested (facilitators, new and interested persons and practitioners alike) to have fun with gardening knowledge, to exchange perma-info, links, NGO contact details and to get to know one another.

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    02 Eco Logic Studio PLASTIKOS There are giant islands of plastic floating in the middle of the ocean that are bigger than South Africa. This unnatural phenomenon occurs when plastic waste, carried from around the world, gathers in massive spiralling swirls. From here, it is broken up into smaller and smaller pieces which can travel around the world for centuries. Troubled by the amount of waste we produce today, artist and activist, Simon Max Bannister felt he needed to work within the "away environments - those places where all the stuff we throw away ends up. Max has explored these plastic islands for himself and is busy creating new work that engages with the complex world of consumer waste and marine ecosystems. Through his work of creating marine creatures from plastic waste he finds on South African coasts, this independent artist stradels the line between artist, educator and marine biologist. Max's work not only explores how plastic threatens marine ecosystems, it examines the root of these problems, looking at the role of our economic systems. It challenges us to think through the possible responses to waste and to begin to act right now. MONA BETOUR EL ZOGHBI The Engagement of South African University Students with Climate Change & Well-Being. This presentation and workshop forms part of a research study undertaken by Mona Betour El Zoghbi at the University of Gloucestershire in the UK. The research entitled, "The Engagement of University Students with Climate Change and Well-Being: A Study of Dutch and South African Students" is supervised by Professor Walid El Ansari and Professor Daniella Tilbury. The workshop will run as a focus group session, exploring the various elements of university students' engagement with climate change and well-being, by working with their personal experiences. The focus is on exploring the ways in which undergraduate (+/- postgraduate) university students, as active agents in society and future leaders, engage with these issues in their local communities, and their related opportunities and challenges. The research aims to provide a forum for youth to be heard, hoping to facilitate ideas and solutions relevant to future policy-making. WOODSTOCK ART REEF PROJECT The Woodstock Art Reef Project (WARP) operates as an environmental awareness platform and forum for participants to express their concerns about our changing environment. The rise in sea temperatures as well as ocean acidification (CO2 linked) have resulted in the demise in diversity of, and ultimate death of many coral reefs. Thus, crafter-artists participate in a symbolic act expressing social concern through a multiplicity of voices. The reef project offers a rich source of visual reference in the living reefs as well as the opportunity to mimic biological evolutionary processes by creating highly individualized art pieces using a common stitch technology and shared underlying geometric principles.

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    A POLLUTANT'S TALE Presented by: The Rhodes University Young Royals in conjunction with the Department of Chemistry at Rhodes University. The Rhodes University Young Royals Society is the youth branch of the Royal Society of South Africa, an independent, interdisciplinary organisation that aims to further all branches of science in South Africa. The society seeks to promote all aspects of science and technology by organising platforms for public education, including scientific conferences, workshops and seminars. The lecture demonstration entitled, "A Pollutant's Tale" was developed by Professor Dudley Shallcross and Mr. Tim Harrison from the Bristol ChemLabs at the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol in the UK. They accomplish this through educating learners and the general public in a fun and exciting way about Climate Change and the different gases that form part of the atmosphere. 03 Exhibi tions 04 Arkwork Collec tive The Arkwork Collective revives discarded rubbish by creating unique crafts made from recycled materials. Their vision is to establish pathways for at risk, low-income youth to participate in dynamic arts and performance based social dialogue, in order to improve their livelihood opportunities. Watch out for their craft and performances this festival.

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    05 Work shops All workshops are free of charge. PAPER MAKING Teachers from the Makana EcoSchools programme will be investigating Grahamstown's waste management practices. This will include a visit to the formal waste dump and to the Masihlule Project - a recycling initiative operating on the dump site. Teachers will learn how to make recycled paper and use this skill to construct a group collage that tells the story of waste management and recycling in Grahamstown. Teachers can then use their acquired knowledge and skills to design a lesson plan relevant to their learners and the subjects they teach. This activity is part of the support offered by the Environmental Learning Research Centre to help teachers attain and sustain their EcoSchools green flag - an internationally recognized award from a programme committed to supporting environmental learning and environmental improvement in schools. LARA KRUGER Drawing to Understand Lara Kruger is an artist based in Paarl, in the Western Cape, and is completing her MA at the Fine Art Department at Stellenbosch University. For the past five years she has been asking herself the question: "How might I work in this world?" To answer her question, Lara works with what she calls 'invisible materials', a term coined by the German artist, Joseph Beuys. She works with the mediums of conversation and imagination through a collaborative artwork entitled, 'Drawing to Understand'. As a contribution to exploring methods of Social Sculpture, Lara uses the "Drawing to Understand" aesthetic and process to explore ways in which we might be able to act out our particular valued 'beings' and 'doings'; in this way she attempts to answer her own question, while encouraging others to engage with theirs. SHELLY SACKS The Earth Forum Social Sculpture The Earth Forum is a facilitated artful process that encourages the creative dialogue of various environmental stakeholders within a neutral social and cultural space. The forum has been developed by acclaimed artist and researcher, Shelley Sacks, at the Social Sculpture Research Unit of Oxford Brookes University. The Earth Forum works with social sculpture to create a new aesthetic and social space where different people with different ways of knowing and doing, are offered new tools to relate and see to one another's perspectives. In preparation for COP17, the Earth Forum will include individuals from the COP negotiating teams from South Africa. This connective-dialogue process explores different and possibly conflicting views of what develop- ment/progress means, as well as what it means to sustain life.

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    GRASS ROOTZ GRASS Rootz is an environmental society based at RhodesUniversity GRASS Rootz is an environmental society based at Rhodes University that is committed to working with social issues as a fundamental part of a focus on environmental issues. They believe in a bottom-up approach of societal change and have done work that highlights the powerful effects of a community working together. Their activities have included working with St Augustine in Extension Four Joza, to create a children's after school garden project in collaboration with Makana and NZKU Schools. As a result of this collaboration, they have set up a garden in the area so that the church and the schools can become more self-sustaining. This Festival they will be holding a permaculture workshop at the Joza garden and an alien tree-removal workshop. CREEPING TOAD Working with groups to find ways of celebrating relationships between people and the places in which they live, work and play Creeping Toad is the creative genius of Gordon MacLellan, one of Britain's liveliest environmental educators. He is a trained ecologist and experienced teacher and has worked with people of all ages for many years. A storyteller, puppeteer and dancer, he now combines these scientific and creative fields to offer challenging and exciting workshops. Gordon runs various events, workshops and training courses ranging from activity days with schools and on-holiday play schemes, to training courses at some of Britain's leading environmental centres. In 2007, Gordon returned to South Africa to lead workshops at the National Arts Festival and to speak at the Third World Environmental Education Congress in Durban. He will be facilitating three workshops with local Grahamstown learners in collaboration with the Eco-Schools project and the Children's Festival Programme. 06 Food Garden Healthy food equals healthy minds Isondlo Unlimited will be providing food daily at 13.00 Isondlo Unlimited (Nutrition Unlimited) was created from Ntuthu Blow and Zanexolo Klaas' combined passion for creating delicious, nutritious and healthy food. Blow and Klaas were brought up in Grahamstown, South Africa, an area where unemployment is high. When the opportunity presented itself, the two decided to escape the common fate of unemployment by putting to work their passion for nutrition and cooking. A strict policy of Isondlo Unlimited catering is to prepare healthy food by using locally sourced vegetables that are not sprayed with health harming chemicals. Their daily catering will provide a hearty culinary experience that is healthy, nutritious and sustainable.

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    07 Craft Market The Re-imagining Forum Craft Market will be open daily from 09:00 - 17:00 KEISKAMMA ART PROJECT The Keiskamma Art Project is a group of over 100 African artists and crafters that specialise in creating commissioned tapestries and textile crafts The project, which started in 2000, focuses primarily on embroidery, but is also integrating several other media, such as wire and bead work, felt making, print making, painting, wirework, mosaics and ceramics. Today, the project is trading nationally and internationally. It up-cycles products, by hand, from the off cuts of the handmade felt and embroidered fabrics of the Artworks of the Keiskamma Art Project. Projects include hand-bound books, cushion covers, felted and crocheted accessories and wireworks. The range is completed by Keiskamma Ceramics. The Keiskamma Trust is situated in the Hamburg community in the Eastern Cape, where the unemployment rate is above 90%. There are no industries in the area, and thus little opportunity for skills development except for the programmes supported by the Keiskamma Trust in the areas of health care, gardening, music and an art. http://keiskammatrust.blogspot.com "Kamma range"

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