Arts & Culture at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) announced its ambitious plans for 2021 that present numerous opportunities for its students, staff, and arts audiences to keep ARTing.
A division of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA), UJ Arts & Culture will offer opportunities for professionals in the creative sector to engage on critical issues, and the division’s ongoing partnership and collaboration with local creatives and producers will continue to make meaningful contributions to the arts and culture landscape through the development and production of original South African work.
Aspirant, emerging, and established playwrights will once again have access to various development opportunities through an online playwriting programme and true to form, the division will embark on several interdisciplinary experimental projects including a socio-political fable web-series, an isiZulu educational drama podcast, physical and virtual exhibitions, and artist walkabouts.
‘The challenging part of curating content during the time of a pandemic is designing something that offers a whole lot of flexibility and certainty at the same time,’ says Pieter Jacobs, Head of UJ Arts & Culture.
Harnessing the power of the arts to positively impact mental and emotional health
It is not only the division’s public offering that needed a unique approach, the UJ Arts Academy too has undergone major changes to ensure that students, staff, and alumni can continue to access art content and participate in artistic activities during a time when a reprieve from the current realities are more important than ever.
‘When there is a massive decline in emotional and mental health, often leading to catastrophic events, the responsibility of those who are privileged enough to curate arts and culture content during this time is immense. We hope that in 2021 we can harness the power of the arts and creativity to positively impact the mental and emotional state of our students, staff and community and we hope that our actions during this critical time will be of value to the arts and culture industry too,’ says Jacobs.
UJ Vice Chancellor Professor Tshilidzi Marwala’s opening address will set the scene for the inaugural Futures & Beyond: Where creativity & 4IR meet, presented in partnership with Andani.Africa. The forum is set to be a gathering of leading minds on arts and the fourth industrial revolution to discuss Africa-led strategies for creativity and innovation in technology.