03 April 2008 - 02:00
By unknown

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

If your forte is literature then you must visit Wits university between today and April 6. The institution in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, is hosting its first Arts and Literature Experience.

The event embraces a diverse and stimulating line-up of activities for the public and students, staff and alumni.

Tawana Kupe, dean of the humanities faculty says: "Our programme is all about celebrating, experiencing and reconnecting with this extraordinary faculty in a way that we've never done before .

"The event has been developed to celebrate the vibrancy and weighty contribution to the broader society of the university's humanities faculty."

Included in the programme is the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Wits Theatre, a book fair featuring readings by published Wits alumni, creative writing workshops and poetry performances.

Top contemporary South African writers will also feature as part of a panel today.

Facilitated by the university's Michael Titlestad, a professor and an acclaimed South African literary and cultural critic, writers will offer readings and respond to pertinent issues. Writers include Chris van Wyk, author of Shirley, Goodness and Mercy, popular performance poet Lebo Mashile, Niq Mhlongo, author of Dog Eat Dog, Craig Higginson author of The Hill and Heinrich Troost author of Plot Loss.

An art exhibition - Art From The Edge - features the work of many illustrious artists associated with Wits.

The event also features the Wits Rocks Concert starring Thandiswa Mazwai and other popular artists in the Wits Great Hall and culminates on the library lawns with a performance showcasing the university's music students and graduates.

There are also a number of film screenings including Dipping Inside Elephant's Eye - a selection of short films by Shelley Barry, a Carnegie scholar in residence at the Wits TV and Film department. The event will also feature an intriguing symposium hosted by the School of Human and Community Development, entitled The Helping Professions and the Movies.

Some of Wits' illustrious humanities alumni include artists, William Kentridge, Jane Alexander, Vincent Baloyi, Kendell Geers, Thembinkosi Goniwe, Gerhard Marx, Colbert Mashile, Joachim Schonfeldt, Penny Siopis and Clive van den Berg.

The Wits Experience is part of a broader programme that continues into the university's second semester, when the Schools of Human and Community Development, Social Sciences and Education will present more events, seminars, debates and panels about the pressing social issues of the day.