VUT DigiResearch

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(2023-11-10) Donovan, Shaun
(1990-10-29) Donovan, Shaun
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(2023-11-01) Donovan, Shaun
Culture as a weapon of the struggle: black women artists contributions to South African art history through conferences and festivals between 1982 and 1990
(Vaal University of Technology, 2018-11) Sooful, Avitha; Gbadamosi, Raimi, Prof.; Carman, Jillian, Dr.
Studies on art made by women have been deprived of their place in the history of art, globally, however, within the South African context, white women were placed firmly within the arts while black women were marginalised. This study makes two assertions, that culture was used as a weapon during apartheid in the 1980s, and that black women, as artists, contributed to South African art history through conferences and exhibitions. The process adopted in securing these two stated positions was to use the frameworks of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and grounded theory as methods to elicit personal experiences through interviews with six women involved in the arts and who contributed to the apartheid struggle during the 1980s. The process used to structure the research and collect data, was an argumentative review of selective literature. Exhibition reviews, conference presentations and proceedings, as well as journal publications between 1982 and 1990. The review concentrated on ‘what’ and ‘how’ statements made on black artists, specifically black women, to understand the reasons for the neglecting of black women artists in the construction of South African art history in the 1980s. Culture as a weapon of the struggle constructed a substantial part of this research as the study considered aspects that constituted struggle culture during the 1980s and the role of black women within this culture. Important to the role of black women as cultural activists was the inclusion of the oppressive nature of class, gender and race as experienced by black women during apartheid to expose the complexities that impacted black women’s roles as activists. A discussion of conferences, and festivals (with accompanying exhibitions), and the cultural boycott against South Africa, the official adoption of culture as a weapon of the struggle, and the resolutions taken at these conferences is investigated. Also of importance was the inclusion of women as a point of discussion at these conferences: their poor position in society, and support for the inclusion of more women into the visual arts. In support of black women’s contribution to South African art history, a discussion on black women as cultural activists is included. This includes interviews with six activists who were part of the liberation struggle during the 1980s who shared their experiences. The study asserts that black artists, specifically black women artists, were prejudiced during the 1980s. This did not however serve as a deterrent to their contribution to a South African art history. Anti-apartheid movements such as the African National Congress (ANC) and the anti-apartheid movement (AABN), Amsterdam, played an integral role in creating alternative cultural platforms that supported a ‘people’s culture’, that enabled the use of culture as a ‘weapon of the struggle’ against apartheid.
Personalising the elements and principles of Graphic Design: an exploratory autoethnographic case study
(Vaal University of Technology, 2021-09-29) Van der Walt, Doreen Esther; Maharajh, Reshma; Munro, Allan, Prof.
The main aim of this study is to determine in what ways my graphic design practice is impacted by my socio-cultural identity. The intention is to explain and theorise the creative dynamics at play in Graphic Design as a discipline, so that I can use this to trace how the culture of graphic design, learned through training, influences the designs that I conceptualise and produce. From this exploration, critical self-analysis strategies and lines of inquiry for graphic designers, are established. To achieve this, triangulated investigations are undertaken in the context of a graphic designer as an idiosyncratic enculturated person, within the domain and field of graphic design. The attention falls on the dynamics of creativity and the cultivation thereof within cultural subject formation processes. Triangulated explorations of identity formation and identity within a culture in itself are undertaken, along with investigations into the culture of graphic design. Autoethnography (AE) is employed as practice-led research methodology and tool to extract data from autobiographic investigations that can be used to analyse and interpret the creative outcomes that were produced for the study. The cultural elements and principles of graphic design and the cultural elements and principles of an idiosyncratic enculturated graphic designer are compared, that result in answers to the main objective of the research conducted. Background and motivations introduce interpretation and contextualisation (personalisation) of AE as practice-led research methodology and method within graphic design as a cultural practice. The introduction is followed by creative practice that involves the generation of graphic design creative outcomes and the writing of a condensed autobiography. An in-depth literature review then provides a theoretical framework that sketches the discipline of practitioner within a field of practice, where after the practice is analysed, critically reflected upon and then AE interpreted, using the developed theoretical framework. From this, a detailed self-analysis follows. The process leads to the development of a new knowledge base and model (framework) that can be used in further research possibilities across other disciplines and cultural identity selections for self-reflection. This “strategic cultural preference facilitator model” consists of seven macro self-analytical identity markers, drawing on Appiah’s (2018) categories of Country, Creed, Colour, Gender, Class, and Culture (to which is added Professional Development). This is extended into ten micro sub-selfanalytical identity markers, namely: (1) Patriotism; (2) Paternalism; (3) Patriarchy and (4) Power; (5) the Pastoral; (6) Pretence; (7) Protection; (8) Punishment; (9) Privilege; and (10) Process, which are employed as socio-cultural identity lines of inquiry. The modelling and analysis processes documented in the dissertation could be extremely useful in most fields of human interaction, such as social work, psychology training, communication theory and practice, and in virtually all domains where the notion of self-critique as practice is prevalent (and necessary).