Minutes of the 22nd meeting
Present: Ebenezer Acquah (online), Juste Constant Onana Amougui, Paul-Henri Souvenir Assako Assako (online), Ruth Belinga, Patrique deGraft-Yankson (online), Osuanyi Essel (online), Mary Claire Akinyi Kidenda, Lize Kriel, Runette Kruger, Jane Otieno, Nicola Pauli, Christian Römmelt, Avi Sooful, Ernst Wagner, Tina Keck (Guest)
Apologies: Stefan Eisenhofer, Constanze Kirchner, Suki Mwendwa, Bernadette Van Haute
- Feedback to the (A)Gender Matters Conference
Big thanks to Avi, Lize, and Martin for managing the conference on behalf of EVC. The mixture of different disciplines and backgrounds was great, generating new ideas and networking relationships. New connections have been possible, of people, ideas and themes. A wonderful experience on how transcultural knowledge production can work. Jane asked regarding the number of papers at the conference, what would happen if the network got bigger, will we be overwhelmed at the next conference? The decision was to stagger conference events so that we are not overwhelmed. There are many options to publish in journals as well as EVC book publications. Funding is key to all EVC projects and events.
Avi mentioned that EVC is becoming more and more attractive for individuals and institutions because of what we are engaging in, which is relevant. Our website is a visual reflection of projects and discussions that are ongoing. EVC has an audience who are impressed with our work and would like to be part of this process of documenting visual cultures.
A book will be the outcome of the inspiring presentations. Nicola suggested not just a replication of the content presented at the conference but to make the connections between the different approaches visible through another structure and possibly additional contributions. The book will have a specific focus that adds to the conference content presented. Runette suggested that the title could be “(A)Nother Matter – (An)Other Matter”, elements from Alison Kearney’s text. Funding of this book: Ernst will approach the German embassy in South Africa whether they would be interested in supporting the publication.
The video documentation of the meeting, done by Martin, will be made accessible for EVC members. The conference is documented on our website: https://explore-vc.org/en/activities/news.html
- Expert Panel members: Germany, Kenya
Avi welcomes Christian from LMU-University (Munich) as the new member from Germany, Nicola will represent Augsburg University in the future (including Constanze’s perspectives). Mary Claire informed the panel that Suki will be on leave for two years. Mary Clare will approach Suki with Lydia as a replacement member during this period, representing Kenya. (Lydia will be the head of the new visual arts department at TUK. (Congratulations!)
Lize updated the panel on the EVC “documenta book” publication. The book will have more than 30 chapters. At the end of the year, she will send reviewer feedback to the authors. Ernst will support her in this endeavour. Some chapters will be proposed as contributions to the “Image & Text” Journal, co-edited by Jenni Lauwrens. Other options of journals are “Amplifier” (edited by Brendon Bell-Roberts) or the journal “IJRCAAE”, edited by the UNESCO-Chair in Erlangen.
Papers rejected by the reviewers, e.g. papers by inexperienced authors, will be discussed with the authors so as not to demotivate them. Alternative ways of publication shall be considered.
Runette recommended starting a new publication format, a zine (from a magazine), as an option for the less academic papers. A zine is more experimental, including different forms of visuals, having only a few pages. All members agreed that this is an excellent idea. This approach includes youth participation and Nicola and Ebenezer volunteered to coordinate this publication. Mary Clare was tasked to coordinate the visual language (the corporate design) of this zine – which could be through a student project in TUK’s graphic design department. There were many ideas as themes: Dennis the goat. Language. Intimacy vs. Public (Ruth). Heritage. Animation amongst others. Christian will also be part of this project. The zine itself could also be a project by the “Young EVC” (see below).
Osuanyi suggested a focus also on short videos as educational material, following a clear format (length, e.g. 3 minutes). This is important to develop the professionalism of art education. The working group on textbooks is asked to work on this. As a textbook on art education for Kenya, co-edited by the team in Nairobi, is going to be published this year, colleagues might be interested in joining this endeavor.
- Virtual exhibitions
The virtual exhibition “Gender Matters” (https://explore-vc.org/en/galleries.html) needs a reflection, analogue to Bernadette’s and Ernst’s analysis of the “Collective Memory” exhibition (https://explore-vc.org/en/lab/collective-memory.html). Runette will coordinate the writing process with Jane, Ruth, Christian, Tina, and Ruiz from Mexico.
Osuanyi will send additional material from Ghana, and Teboho Lebakeng will update the South Africa section of artworks.
It is important that EVC develops relevant themes to work with during the year. Ideas for themes were: Patrique suggested «AI»; Paul suggested «Heritage»; Ruth “Intimacy – Public”; Runette «Invisible Imageries», Nicola “Sustainability”. Ebenezer suggested the title: “A (EYE) – AI and the future of Visual Culture”. After an intensive discussion, the Panel decided to focus on “AI”, coordinated by Mary Clare. Students will explore the options for AI in their works and document this. Christian and Ernst suggested the inclusion of the AI Chair in Munich and the UNESCO Chair in Erlangen.
- Expansion of the institutional network
Initiative of Change (Allan from Richmond, Virginia, USA); Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur - Museo de Arte de Baja Califormia Sur: Mexico (Dir. Dr. Dante Arturo Salgado González, Dra. Marta Piña Zentella, Dr. Rodrigo Edgardo Salgado Guluarte, Dr. Rosendo Damián Soto Salgado, Dr. Gabriel Rovira); and Another Roadmap Africa Cluster are invited to join the “EVC family” and to contribute to the different working groups (see below) or the website. The Expert Panel will remain as it is.
- ACASA Conference 2024
Paul introduced the call for papers for the next ACASA conference (Arts Council of the African Studies Association), USA, an important platform to make EVC visible. Paul will forward the call to EVC members and coordinate a joint application. Deadline is Dec 1.
- Supervisor database
Mary Clare suggested EVC as a platform to find international supervisors for students. The panel saw the benefit of cooperating on this level. Mary Clare will send a brief description of which requirements are requested and which information is needed regarding the respective CVs of persons.
- Youth / Young EVC
Christian reported on the interest of students in Munich to create an international platform to connect and explore new ways of joint transcultural knowledge production. Constant is interested in this initiative. Mary Clare suggested including Emman from Nairobi, Lize and Avi suggested Deneesha and Obakeng from Pretoria. At UP there is already a local “Visual Culture Club” that can serve as a blueprint and that can be approached. Christian suggested Michaela and Matete as coordinators.
- Date of the next meeting (Online)
Tuesday, Nov 21, 9am (South Africa time)