REVOLUTION ROOM: Public Colloquium and Project Development Workshop

Cosmo City / MOAD (Museum of African Design), Johannesburg, South Africa
18 Nov 2013 - 24 Nov 2013

VANSA announces the first stage of the project, Revolution Room.The Revolution Room project seeks to explore new ways in which museums as public institutions can project themselves more forcefully into the public realm, through interventions in ‘common space’ developed out of complex collaborations between artists, citizens and museum professionals. The project will involve museum professionals working with artists and local partners/collaborators in developing projects in Cosmo City, a post-apartheid urban settlement in the north-west of Johannesburg.

The project will also seek to forge institutional linkages, collaborations, and a community of practice between South African, African and European institutions and organisations, borne out of the practical experience of developing a shared project.

The project builds on VANSA’s work in the area of public practice over the last few years through projects such as Two Thousand and Ten Reasons to Live in a Small Town, and our involvement and consultation with various public and private sector organisations. We anticipate a project that is both topical and responsive as well as a true collaboration between the various publics, the creative sector and institutions through public intervention, education, experimentation and innovation. The project also forms part of a long term experiment in network development and collaboration on the continent, the Pan African Network for Independent Contemporaneity (PANIC), which VANSA is developing together with Picha, an organisation based in the DRC which is responsible for the Lubumbashi Biennale.

VANSA will also be partnering with Microsillons (Switzerland), Picha (DRC), The New Patrons Project (Germany) and The Centre for Art and Urbanistics (Germany), together with a number of heritage institutions based in Johannesburg and Gauteng, including the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Hector Peterson Museum, WITS Art Museum and Museum Africa.

The project launches with a workshop that will bring together our partners in developing a community of practice, sharing experiences, methods and context, while putting together a strategy and methodology for the future realisation of public projects within Cosmo City, and elsewhere. The workshop includes two open public colloquium sessions, to enable a wider audience of creative practitioners, students and interested parties to engage with and interrogate the logic of the project.

Revolution Room will also involve an intensive mapping of Cosmo City, working with young architecture and planning students and local youth This mapping will also involve engagement with residents of Cosmo City in developing a conceptual and experiential map of the locality, and the identification of local networks, structures and individuals with which the project mighty engage in particular locations in Cosmo City.

In collaboration with a network of international partners, and supported by Pro Helvetia, the Goethe-Institut and the Arts Collaboratory.


The workshop/public culture laboratory will take place over five days from the 19 -23 of November 2013 in Cosmo City, which will bring together South African, African and European practitioners, museum professionals and independent curators from each context

18 November 2013, 9am- 4pm
24 November 2013, 9am – 4pm
MOAD (Museum of African Design), 281 Commissioner Str, JHB

The first session of the colloquium will focus on the broader concerns of the Revolution Room project as well as an opportunity for the public to engage the various partners within the project and gain some insight into Revolution Room and the central concerns of the project.

The last day of the Colloquium will focus on presenting feedback and findings from the workshop to a wider audience and outline the way forward for the Revolution Room project.


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