Opening Plenary Speaker

Nandipha Mntambo

(b. 1982 Mbabane, Swaziland)

Nandipha Mntambo completed a Master’s in Fine Art from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, in 2007. She is currently based in Johannesburg. Mntambo originally intended to study forensic pathology, but found her way to Fine Arts in an unusual, but fortunate, shift in her career trajectory. Within her sculpture, photography, video and mixed media works, Mntambo’s acute interest in the human body is evident.

Mntambo is perhaps best known for her cowhide sculptures – with the cured hide draped over human forms and set with resin – which confront and question the relationship between humans and animals. These investigations into organic nature and the corporeal address issues relating to performance, gender, identity, life and death.

In 2017, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa presented Material Value, a solo exhibition of Mntambo’s work, including the impressive installation of the work EMABUTFO (2012) in which dozens of hide/human spectres were suspended in mid-air, occupying the gallery room in their haunting formation. Her bronze sculpture, Ophelia (2015), installed in the sculpture garden at the Norval Foundation in Cape Town, is part of the institution’s permanent collection.

Mntambo won the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art in 2011, for which she produced the travelling exhibition Faena. The artist was shortlisted for the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize in Canada (2014), was a Civitella Ranieri Fellow (2013), and received the Wits/BHP Billiton Fellowship (2010).

Opening Plenary Speaker

Samantha Masters

Dr Samantha Masters is a scholar of classical material culture intrigued with the ancient world ever since her grandmother thrilled her with stories of visits to the Athenian Acropolis, the Colosseum of Rome and the caldera of Vesuvius. Her research interests focus on classical and contemporary art and visual/material culture. Alongside the study of the iconography and ‘language’ of Attic painted pottery, and studies of art as a communicative medium, she also works on the reception of classical material culture in Southern Africa and collections of ancient artefacts in South African Museums. This includes the collection at Iziko Museums of South Africa in Cape Town, where she is a Research Associate. Her latest publications include ‘(u)Mzantsi Classics: Dialogues from Southern Africa’ and ‘A Woman in Danger or a Dangerous Woman? “Helen” on Archaic Attic Vases’ among others.

For full Bio:

Tamar Garb

Tamar Garb is Durning Lawrence Professor in History of Art, University College London. She has published widely on questions of gender, sexuality, the woman artist and the body. Key publications include Bodies of Modernity (1996) and The Painted Face, Portraits of Women in France 1814 -1914 (2007). Her recent work addresses post-apartheid culture and art as well as the history of photographic practices in Africa. Selected exhibitions she has curated include: Land Marks/Home Lands; Contemporary Art from South (2008) Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography, (2011) Distance and Desire: Encounters with the African Archive, (2014/15) and Made Routes: Vivienne Koorland and Berni Searle, (2019).

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Prof. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

Prof. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela is Professor and Research Chair for Historical Trauma and Transformation, and the South African National Research Chair (SARChI) in Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Her work is in the fields of trauma studies and research on the psychoanalytic interpretation of remorse and forgiveness. She was awarded a B-rating from the National Research Foundation, and she is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and an honorary member of the South African Psychoanalytic Association.

Her recent honours include The Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award, 2021; Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, 2020-2021; Honorary Doctor of Laws from Rhodes University (2019), and Honorary Doctor of Theology from the Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, Germany (2017). Since 2017, she joined the faculty at Queen’s University, Belfast as Research Associate and Global Scholar affiliated with the Senator George Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

Albie Sachs

Albie Sachs is former judge of the South African Constitutional Court, anti-apartheid activist lawyer, scholar, and author. He took an active part in the negotiations which led to South Africa becoming a constitutional democracy. Through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission he met the apartheid security agent who organised the placing of a bomb in his car which cost him his arm and sight in one eye. He played a leading role in the development of the Constitutional Court building and its art collection. His books include Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter and The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law, both of which won the Alan Paton Award. In 2009 Judge Albie Sachs received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement which was presented to him by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town. Later that year he was presented the Lincoln Award in the presence of President Obama at Forde’s Theater.

Full Profile here

John Brewer

John Brewer is Professor of Post Conflict Studies in the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s University Belfast. He was awarded an Honorary DSocSci from Brunel University and is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow in the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has held visiting appointments at Yale University, St John’s College Oxford, Corpus Christi College Cambridge and the Australia National University. He has been President of the British Sociological Association. He is Honorary Professor Extraordinary at Stellenbosch University, Honorary Professor of Sociology at Warwick University, and is a member of the United Nations Roster of Global Experts. He is the author or co-author of sixteen books and editor or co-editor of a further six.

Full profile:

Hope Azeda

Hope was raised as a refugee in Uganda and returned to Rwanda after finishing her theatre studies at Makerere University. She is one of the leading figures in contemporary Rwandan theatre. As the founder and artistic director of Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company, a leading theatre company in Rwanda since 1997, the group collaboratively created Africa’s Hope which was performed in Kigali at the 10th anniversary commemoration of the genocide. The play also premiered at the G8 World Summit in Edinburgh in 2005, toured in the UK in 2006 and 2008, and was also featured in the biennial festival in Sweden in 2008. In 2012 Africa’s Hope made its premier in Los Angeles USA.

To this date, Hope has been involved with 77 productions through Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company. On her own, Hope has been involved with countless other productions through partnerships and workshops acting as director, writer, mentor, and advisor. In 2015 after being tasked with creating a legacy based project, she created the Ubumuntu Arts Festival which brings together many countries from around the world to create and showcase drama for reconciliation.

Ms. Azeda’s work as a writer, performer and teacher has taken her to many theaters and universities around the world, including the Biennial Festival in Stockholm and the Caravan Festival in Copenhagen, the International Festival of the Arts in Sophia-Bulgaria and tours of the USA, Canada, Austria, Italy, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Italy Australia, South Africa and Northern Ireland. She has also been an artist-in-residence at the Institute for the Arts and Civic Dialogue in Cambridge-Massachusetts, an alumni of Brown University International advanced research institute in 2013, and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Ms Azeda is also a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI-ASPEN-Institute). Hope acts as a cultural facilitator throughout Rwanda working to coordinate important events such as the gorilla naming ceremony Kwita Inzina, the Miss Rwanda pageant, and acting as the creative director for the 20th genocide commemoration in 2014.

In addition to her theatre work, she served as a casting director for the films Sometimes in April, Shake Hands with the Devil, Beyond the Gates, and White Light Africa United. Hope is also currently the curator of Ubumuntu Arts Festival.

Lebohang Kganye

Lebohang Kganye, a visual artist and photographer, uses her family archive to explore and re-enact notions of home and belonging. Kganye often incorporates the archival and performative into a practice that centers storytelling and memory as it plays itself out in the familial experience. She is currently doing her Masters in Fine Arts at the Witwatersrand University, South Africa. Notable awards include the Grand Prix Images Vevey 2021/22, Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize, 2020, Camera Austria Award, 2019 and the finalist of the Rolex Mentor & Protégé Arts Initiative, 2019. Kganye’s work forms part of several private and public collections, most notably the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pennsylvania and the Walther Collection in Ulm.

Full Profile:

Phil Clark

Phil Clark is a Professor of International Politics at SOAS University of London. He specialises in conflict and post-conflict issues, including transitional justice, peacebuilding and reconciliation after mass atrocity in Rwanda, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. In 2007, he co-founded Oxford Transitional Justice Research at the University of Oxford and in 2014 he founded the Research, Policy and Higher Education programme at the Aegis Trust in Kigali. His most recent books are Distant Justice: The Impact of the International Criminal Court on African Politics (CUP, 2018) – which was shortlisted for the Raphael Lemkin Award for best book on genocide and mass violence – and The Gacaca Courts, Post-Genocide Justice and Reconciliation: Justice without Lawyers (CUP, 2010). He is currently completing a book on welfare, post-genocide inequality and reconciliation in Rwanda, to be published by Hurst and Co.

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Dr. Precious Simba

Dr. Simba is an adjunct lecturer in the department of Education Policy Studies at Stellenbosch University. Her background is in after-school programmes, having founded a girls’ education initiative in Bulawayo in 2011. Her doctoral research was a feminist critique of Ubuntu as a philosophy of education centred on education policy in Zimbabwe. Her research interests are ubuntu as a philosophy of education, education policy, feminist theory, intersectionality, and democratic citizenship education. She has an MA from University of Sussex’s Institute of Development Studies (IDS) where her studies focused on gender, development and education. Dr Simba is a Mandela scholar (2013/14), a Sol Plaatjie scholar (2018/2020) and an Andrew W. Mellon Ubuntu Dialogues fellow (2020).


More speakers coming soon