Cynthia Kros is an historian, heritage specialist and creative writer. She was the editor of the South African Historical Journal between 2006 and 2011 and is the author of a book based on her PhD thesis entitled: The Seeds of Separate Development: Origins of Bantu Education (2010). She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals in the areas of: autobiography/memoir, memorialisation, monuments, museum exhibitions, secular ideology, truth commissions and education (most recently on history and arts education). She is also a very experienced educator in the fields of history, heritage and teacher education, having spent almost 25 years employed at the University of the Witwatersrand, initially in the History Department and then latterly in the Wits School of Arts. Before that she was employed as a History lecturer at the Johannesburg College of Education and, for a brief spell, as a journalist at The Star newspaper.
Georges Pfrunder headed the Wits School of Arts (WSOA) at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, between 2009 and 2013. From 1996 to 2009, he directed the Fine Arts University “Ecole Cantonale d’Art du Valais” (ECAV), Switzerland. As artist and researcher, Georges Pfruender has participated in conferences, panels and residency programs in Europe, USA, South Africa, Venezuela, Hongkong and Taiwan, and is presently involved in collective art projects with researchers from South Africa, Ethiopia and France.
Margarete Jahrmann, Ph.D., is a distinguished game art designer (2019 Center of Advanced Studies Munich, 2017 ZfL Berlin, 2010 MIT gamebit Lab, 2004 software arts award transmediale Berlin, 2003 prix ars electronica, distinction interactive arts). She is since 2019 Univ.-Prof. Artistic Research University of Applied Arts Vienna and since 2006 professor in Game Design at the Zurich University of the Arts she developed a focus on Game Art and Neuro-Epistemology experiments with a specific Ludic method. She founded the Pervasive and Urban Game design and research association Ludic Society and editor of the arts research journal. In her collaborative arts-projects she worked with neuroscientists, philosophers and early adopters of technologies, from Augmented Reality to AI and science theory (AI & Arts summit New Museum NYC 2019, Building Bridges Gallery Los Angeles). She exhibited her work worldwide, is an experienced lecturer (see Amaze Playful media Festival 2018 and AIL Arts Innovation Lab 2018) and researcher. 2013 she co-edited the augmented book „Play & Prosume. Technology Exchange and Flow“ with a focus on AR and propaganda, 2016 the void playbook VOID book premiered at the founding place of Dada, Cabaret Voltaire Zurich. Currently she is working on a series of artistic research experiments in relation to neurointerfaces and play, fostering a new form of Ludic Neuromatic art. www.margaretejahrmann.net
Jill Richards is a South African pianist specialising in new music. Versatile and dynamic, her interests range from the repertoire of 19th century to the 21st, to free improvisation.
Her career includes collaborations with numerous composers from around the world. She has a longstanding working relationship with Kevin Volans who has written many solo works as well as piano duos for her. These she has performed with the composer as partner. Jill has also worked with Francisco Lopez, Jörg Schäffer, François Sarhan, Rudiger Meyer, Clare Loveday, and many others. She has also toured with live music performances to William Kentridge's films.
Jill has performed and been broadcast in the UK, Europe, North America and Australasia. Among these were the BBC broadcasts of the premières of solo and duo works of Kevin Volans. She has released five CD's, including "Cicada" by Kevin Volans. Jill and violinist Waldo Alexander also recorded works Volans for piano, violin and viola for the Ergodos label.
She also collaborates with sound artist João Orecchia, visual artist Marcus Neustetter, composer-drummer Christophe Fellay, and has created sound tracks with video artist Jurgen Meekel and artist Dorothee Kreuztfeldt, amongst others. www.jillrichards.com
Berhanu Ashagrie was born in Dessie, Ethiopia on the 21st of May, 1979. He has graduated with BFA from Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design in 2005. He has also pursued his Masters Degree in Fine Arts from Utrecht Graduate School of the Arts in 2010; Utrecht/The Netherlands. Since 2005 Berhanu has been teaching at the Alle School of Fine Arts and Design and currently he is the Head of the Alle School Fine Arts and Design. Beside his institutional engagements, Berhanu has been engaged with various creative projects inside and outside studio environment, in which his creative outcomes have been exhibited in Ethiopia and abroad.
Raimi Gbadamosi (born Manchester, 1965) is an artist, writer and curator. He received his Doctorate in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art. He is a member of the Interdisciplinary Research Group 'Afroeuropeans', University of Leon, Spain, and the 'Black Body' group, Goldsmiths College, London. He is on the Editorial board of Third Text.
Recent national and international shows and events include: What’s Going On? 2013 Exchange Mechanism, Belfast Exposed, Belfast, 2010; ARCO Madrid 2009; Tentativa De Agotar Un Lugar Africano, CASM, Barcelona 2008; Human Cargo, Plymouth Museum & Art Gallery, Plymouth 2007; Port City, Arnolfini, Bristol 2007. ARCO 2009, Madrid/.
Books include: incredulous; ordinary people; extraordinary people; contents; Drink Horizontal; Drink Vertical; The Dreamers' Perambulator; and four word. The Republic (http://www.the-republic.net) negotiates the meeting of language and social constructions.
Recent essays include: Ten Art Commandments, Art South Africa 2013; Scuffles in the Cathedral: Of Principalities and Powers, Tate Encounters, Tate Britain, London 2010; The Not-So New Europeans, Wasafiri UK 2009, and The Delight of Giant-Slayers: Or Can Artists Commit Their Lives to Paper? ArtMonitor , Sweeden. Am I Black Enough?; Third Text, 'Death is Performance Art Too'; Spiked Online, and 'And the Band Played On'; Arts Professional
Elizabeth W Giorgis
Elizabeth W Giorgis received her doctorate from the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell University, and her Master’s degree in Museum Studies from New York University. She served as Dean of the Skunder Boghossian College of Performing and Visual Arts and was Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies of Addis Ababa University. She is currently the Director of the Modern Art Museum: Gebre Kristos Desta Center and teaches Art Theory and Criticism in the graduate school of the College of Performing and Visual Art. She is the author of several publications, most recently as guest editor and author in “The Aural and the Visual in Muso” on Engaging the Image of Art and Culture: Particular Perspectives of Ethiopian Modernity and Modernism, a special issue of North East African Studies Journal and “Charting Ethiopian Modernity and Modernism,” a special issue of Callaloo, journal of the African Diaspora, on Ethiopian art and literature. She is also the editor of the first catalogue of contemporary art published in Ethiopia, Gebre Kristos Desta: The Painter Poet. She is the curator of several exhibitions. More recently, she authored “Addis Ababa: The Enigma of the ‘New’ and the ‘Modern’” published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same title that focuses on the changing through physical art formations and creative documentations.
Serge Kubanza is a DRC national that has recently joined Wits School of Geography and Environmental Studies as a PhD Candidate. He holds a Masters degree in Development Planning from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and a BA Honours in Sociology and Anthropology from Kinshasa University, DRC. Prior to studying at Wits, he worked as a Programme Development Manager with the Organisation of African Youth, South Africa, also as a project officer with the ACTION Support Centre, South Africa and as a World Assembly Team with CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, South Africa. Among his interests include issues related to urban environmental management and Southern African regional solidarity. He recently attended the Global Conference on Environmental Studies that took place in Rome-Italy and presented a paper on “ When the poor don’t matter: Exploring environmental justice in solid waste management in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo”.
Alan Mabin is a research fellow in the Centre for Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria and leads the Capital Cities Institutional Research Theme there. He holds a doctorate from Simon Fraser University in Canada; has worked on cities in the USA, Brasil, France, Tanzania and South Africa; and was previously head of the school of architecture and planning at Wits University.
Having completed her doctorate at NYU, Jyoti MIstry teaches writing for experimental film and documentary. She is an associate professor at the University of the Witwatersrand's Department of Film and Television in Johannesburg ; on the editorial board of Wespennest (literary, arts and culture journal); served on the executive committee of the board of the National Film and Video Foundation in South Africa from 2003-2006; areas of research and writing include cultural policy, questions of identity and multiculturalism. She has taught at New York University, University of Vienna and Arcadia Polytechnic in Helsinki. She is a co-founder of shadowy Meadows Productions. Jyoti Mistry's filmography includes films, documentaries and film installations. Mistry has also worked as a photography and film curator.
Yohann Quëland de St Pern
Yohann Quëland de St Pern was born in 1980, graduated with a DNSEP of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Rouen and a Master of assistant director, he teaches video at ESA La Réunion in both practical and theoretical approach. The YQDSP’s approach is deeply motivated by a philosophical attitude and policy of refusing principles governing authority of the social organization. Through performance and video, installations, drawings and more recently, where prevail the ridiculous and absurd, he offers a staggered reading and a reassessment of reality.
His work has been presented including at Pulsar Caracas, Alejandro Otero Museum Mao, Venezuela, Xiamen International Contemporary Art Exhibition, China, the Sakshy gallery, Mumbai, India, Centre Pompidou Metz, the FRAC Lorraine, as well as Palais de Tokyo during Paris Nuits Blanches in 2012.
Antje Schuhmann holds a PhD in Postcolonial Studies (University of Munich, Germany) and works as a Senior Lecturer in the Political Studies Department at Witwatersrand University.
The intersections of power with body politics and its historic legacies within today’s systems of violence and domination are one of the main foci of her intellectual and activist work. How do gender, race, sexuality, and class manifest in everyday experiences and politics of representation? How are the ways we memorize past violence subverting or reinforcing contemporary forms of oppression? She is active in international feminist and anti-racist and anti-fascist networks and initiatives, has produced film and audio features, and is published widely internationally.