Call to support local artists and writers
THE rector and vice chancellor of the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Brian O'Connell, has urged people to take care and support local artists. He also called on artists themselves to take their work beyond the borders of South Africa.
He was speaking at an exhibition and book launch at the Bellville Library, Cape Town, on Tuesday night.
The event, organised and hosted by the UWC-based Centre for Humanities Research, was attended by about 100 people, including academics, students and other members of the public.
The book, Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project Archive , is the outcome of a writing project by 31 contributors offering a variety of fresh perspectives and insights .
Contributors included Premesh Lalu, director of the Centre for Humanities Research; Mbongiseni Buthelezi, lecturer at the University of Cape Town; and Louise Green, senior lecturer at Stellenbosch University.
O'Connell said it was of critical importance that people recognise and celebrate the collection of art work done by local artists.
He also thanked the artists for their excellent work, saying they contributed to the growth and development of the arts and culture industry.
"Our artists are playing a key role in society. We should, therefore, celebrate and support them.
"I also think that they (artists) must take their work beyond the borders of South Africa."
A dedicated space and staff was needed to keep the artwork in a safe place for many years to come.
O'Connell also praised UWC for playing a role in the struggle for freedom and contributing to the growth and development of the education system in the country.
"At UWC, through the Centre for Humanities Research and faculties, we have made sense of the country's past and also relating to the present."
Writer and poet Rustum Kozaim said some of the art work by the artists were political and had depicted the struggle against apartheid.
Kozaim, who is a contributor to the book, said the work of many artists were not celebrated by South Africans during the dark days of apartheid and it was important do to do so in a post-apartheid South Africa.
"Some of the people also do not recognise the role played by our artists in the 1980s and 1970s.
"Artists in those years had produced good literature and artwork," he added.