In the latest visual redress project at Stellenbosch University, an art installation is expected to be revealed on the campus featuring 11 “phenomenal South African women thought leaders”

According to the university, the installation will be arranged in a circle on the grass embankment of the campus to “emphasise the dynamic role that women play in the conversation”.

Vice-rector for social impact, transformation and personnel, Nico Koopman, is expected to reveal the installation at 17:30 on 26 August.

The Circle features anti-apartheid activists Lilian Ngoyi, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Fatima Meer, together with former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, author Antjie Korg, Wimbledon wheelchair tennis player Kgothatso Montjane and activist Zanele Muhli, among others.

“The project forms part of an extensive visual redress process on [our] campuses in an attempt to not only remove offensive symbols but also to introduce new visual symbols which point to a shared history, our diverse stories and public spaces that are welcoming to all,” said Dr Leslie van Rooi, senior director: social impact and transformation.

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“[The artwork] differs from other forms of art in public spaces, such as statues, as the women are represented in a circle,” added Stephané Conradie of the Department of Visual Arts and curator of the project.

“The artwork is therefore not elevated above everyone else and aims to renew the culture of symbols in public spaces.

“This form of the collective artwork and the fact that they are all sitting, breaks a strong form of power and indicates interaction with the public in such a way that it invites us to become part of the conversation,” said Conradie.

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