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22 March 2022

Spotlight to be on arts, culture and heritage at the 2022 HSRC, TUT emerging scholars conference

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Pretoria, Friday 18 March 2022 – The Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) in the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), in collaboration with the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), will be hosting the 2022 edition of the annual Africa Young Graduates and Scholars (AYGS) conference from 22 to 24 March 2022.

The programme is available for download below:

Themed ‘Arts, Culture and Heritage – Rethinking, Remaking and Rebuilding Africa’, this year’s conference will focus on the efforts of the continent towards promoting the arts, culture and heritage sector in order to build a resilient Africa that recognises and values its culture-specific knowledges, cultural codes and ethics in the face of globalisation.

The title for the symposium builds on the theme chosen by the African Union (AU) for 2021 – ‘Year of the Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want’ – which, together with the AU Roadmap for 2021, is a step taken by the continent to reconfirm Africa’s commitment to its cultures and creative industries as critical factors for the continent’s emergence on the global stage. 

At the conference emerging scholars from the African continent and in the diaspora will present papers that speak to various issues, such as rememoration through street name changes, emerging identities in South African musical theatre, colonial urban toponyms in Zambia, the legacy of African women movements, heritage and land tenure dynamics in Zimbabwe, designing personal protective clothing for women in mining, debates on public sculptures in Uganda, and many more.

The conference will also include performances and creative presentations by emerging scholars and artists to cultivate and promote practice-based creative outputs as valuable research knowledge. These creative presentations will be performed and experienced at the university’s unique Breytenbach Theatre.

The opening session of the conference will be streamed live on TUT’s Facebook page on 22 March 2022 from 09:00 – 11:30. It will comprise an intriguing line-up of keynote presentations and performances that will be delivered by leading scholars in their respective fields. 

They include TUT’s Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Tinyiko Maluleke, who will deliver the keynote address that seeks to provide a series of provocations on the notions of culture and heritage, and the role that arts play in their preservation and promotion.

Dr Thokozani Mhlambi, a highly acclaimed music practitioner and historian, will give a multi-modal presentation that includes a performance and intellectual inquiry on the role craft guilds played in Africa before the colonial era. 

The AWHF’s virtual session on Youth, World Heritage And Sustainability in Africa will be streamed live on 24 March from 13:30 -15:30 on AWHF’s Facebook page. It will bring together some of the key partners and beneficiaries of the AWHF Youth Programme to reflect on the experiences and prospects of the youth’s engagement with arts, culture and heritage in Africa. The session will have simultaneous interpretation in French and English.

The conference will end with a collaborative part-paper part-performance presentation by Amogelang Maledu, alongside the celebrated DJ Hazel Mahazard who has opened a school to train women DJs. It will explore the language and grammar of the popular musical genre known as Amapiano.

The AYGS conference, organised annually since its inception in 2005, aims to build a body of knowledge and gives a platform to emerging African voices in various disciplines and discourses about the continent. 

The conference intends to address burning questions and current matters within Africa by engaging young academics on the continent and in the diaspora and strengthening their capacities in research and knowledge production. It targets emerging scholars at master and PhD levels. 

The conference is organised jointly by the HSRC’s AISA and TUT, in collaboration with the AWHF and the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Date:  22 to 24 March 2022
Time: 9h00 – 11h30 (Opening session)

Venue/Link: Zoom Link or Facebook:  Tshwane University of Technology

Physical attendance at the event is closed to the public. Journalists who would like to attend physically should RSVP by 14h00 on Monday 21 March 2022. The in-person sessions and events will be held at TUT’s Faculty of Arts and Design Campus and the Breytenbach Theatre in Pretoria, South Africa.

For media enquiries:

Phaphama Tshisikhawe
Cell: 0662111441

Adziliwi Nematandani,
Cell: 0827659191

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