3rd Space Symposium at the Institute for Creative Arts in Cape Town


THE Institute for Creative Arts (ICA, formerly GIPCA) is hosting the 3rd Space Symposium: Decolonisation and the Creative Arts, from May 13 to 15 at the University of Cape Town’s Hiddingh Campus.

The 3rd Space Symposium is an interdisciplinary event which will explore ideas around the role of the creative arts in provoking change, the imperative to decolonise the university and the dialectic between the settled nature of academic curricula and the spontaneity of transformation.

As a starting point, the title draws on Homi Bhabha’s notion of a hybrid “third space” that “displaces the histories that constitute it, and sets up new structures of authority, new political initiatives, which are inadequately understood through received wisdom”[Rutherford 1990].

At the core of the #rhodesmustfall and #feesmustfall movements lay ideas of representation, identity, heritage, symbolism and art works.

The creative and performing arts do not exist in a vacuum. It is within these contexts that the ideas around the 3rd Space Symposium evolved.

As part of its ongoing project to facilitate interdisciplinary research and dialogue in the creative and performing arts that disrupts boundaries, the ICA brings together addresses, panel discussions, public debate, performances, film screenings and art exhibitions to explore the subject.

Ideas, pertaining to history and heritage, language, hybridity, the creative economy and curriculum will be explored by academics, performers, curators, musicians, choreographers and playwrights. The symposium will also provide a platform for probing the potential of the university curriculum to respond to the fluidity of transformation, and to generate forms for carrying transformation forward.

Audiences will also be invited to sit in groups at round tables, and discussion will be encouraged and programmed after all presentations.

The 3rd Space Symposium is the first of three annual symposia around this complex and timeous subject and features, amongst others:

  • keynote addresses by writer and political analyst, Sisonke Msimang, academic and columnist, Nomalanga Mkhize and acclaimed musician, Neo Muyanga.
  • Papers from the director of the Wits Theatre, Gitanjali Pather; award-winning director and playwright, Mwenya Kabwe; academic and performer, Lieketso “Dee” Mohoto, writer Nadia Davids, architect Ilze Wolf, academic Hedley Twidle and academic and voice artist Lesoko Seabe;
  • Performances by renowned choreographer, Nelisiwe Xaba, spoken-word poet, Koleka Putuma; artist and theatre-maker, Jacques Mushaandja and performance artists, Dean Hutton and Vasiki – Creative Citizens;
  • An interactive and performative video installation by multi-media artist Chrisantha Chetty;
  • Films by visual and performance artist, Sikhumbuzo Makandula; and
  • Music by composer, arranger and trumpeter, Mandla Mlangeni.

The 3rd Space Symposium takes place at UCT’S Hiddingh Hall, 31 – 37 Orange Street, Gardens Cape Town from 2 pm to 9 pm on Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 and from 3 pm to 6 pm on Sunday, May 15.

All are welcome and entry is free, but due to limited space booking is essential.

Visit http://www.gipca.uct.ac.za for a detailed programme. For more information contact the ICA office on 021 650 7156 or email sam.saevitzon@uct.ac.za.


The Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) is an interdisciplinary institute in the University of Cape Town’s Humanities Faculty – formerly the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA).

The ICA facilitates research projects in the creative and performing arts that disrupt boundaries, while underscoring creative education and practice across discipline and faculty.

Interdisciplinarity, Live Art and Public Spheres are key themes of the Institute, and projects are imbued with innovation, collaboration and a dialogue with urbanism and community.


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