Celebrated investigative journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika speaks about the difficulties of his profession. Photo: Nolwazi Mjwara.
“One must have a thick skull, a heart of a lion and deaf ears,” said Mzilikazi wa Afrika as he began his presentation on the good, the bad and the ugly of investigative journalism.
Wa Afrika spoke about his own experience as being an investigative journalist for the Sunday Times. The seminar kicked off directly at the FNB building at Wits University as part of the Power Reporting conference.
“Investigative journalism is very, very tough and you need to be prepared to swim with the crocodiles in the river and dance with the lions in the jungle,” said wa Afrika.
The problem journalists face, especially investigative journalists is the problem of intimidation by government.
[pullquote align=”left”]We need to act now and show them[/pullquote]
Investigative journalists throughout the African continent are targeted and silenced. Wa Afrika said this is a big problem the continent is facing and it is also something South Africa is facing.
The notion Mandela had about a “critical, independent and investigative press being the lifeblood of any democracy” should have been said in front of all the African presidents, according to wa Afrika.
It should not be the case that the media become the opposition to the ANC, said wa Afrika. The work of an investigative journalist is very important in balancing a society and yet in other African countries “journalists are treated worse than hobo’s, media houses are forced to close down and journalists’ lives are in danger,” said wa Afrika.
“This is a job that needs to be done, you are [as a journalist] doing a favour for your country,” he said. Wa Afrika said investigative journalists report on stories which affect their people.
He related story of when he was detained at Libreville airport in Gabon for 15 hours because he was a journalist. “My colleague and I were detained with no food or water for 15 hours based on our occupation which we filled out on the forms.”
Both journalists spent the night in a cell with six other men and the next morning they were taken to Mpumalanga where they were interrogated further and only released once their host spoke with the police.
In 2013 a total of 17 journalists have been killed on duty in Syria, six in Egypt and five in Pakistan.
[pullquote]“I do this because I love my country”[/pullquote]
In response to these numbers wa Afrika says, “We need to act now and show them [the government] that they can’t push us around.”
The problem also lies in the lack of reporting on this issue. Over the past weekend journalists were killed in Somalia however “I am yet to read a story in print about this,” he said.
While investigative journalism is expensive and risky, authorities need to be held accountable for their actions. “I do this because I love my country,” he said.
Wa Afrika has eight cameras throughout his house and a neighbourhood watch in order to protect his family. He explained that he often gets death threats.
When Wits Vuvuzela asked wa Afrika if he had any advice for a young investigative journalist he said, investigative journalism is not glamorous, it is blood, sweat and tears. It’s different and you should always watch your back.
“The good is great, the bad is scary and the ugly is death,” said wa Afrika.
Dr Ridwan Mia at the Golden Key event last night in the Great Hall after his talk about Pippie Kruger. Photo: Prelene Singh
Dr Ridwan Mia, who is credited with saving the life of a three year burn victim, spoke about his personal journey at Wits yesterday.
Mia, who has achieved national fame as a result of his work with ‘Pippie” Kruger, was speaking at a symposium organised by the Golden Key Society.
[pullquote]“When she first came to the hospital we used to call her the ‘Michelin Baby’ as she was so huge with all the bandages.”[/pullquote]
Mia was the last of a group of illustrious speakers, including Penny Heyns and Prof Meyersfeld, who left the audience with a sense of positivity and the realisation about the change a single person can make in someone’s life.
Using graphic images on a presentation Mia talked the audience through Pippie’s surgery from the time she was first brought to the hospital. He contrasted these with photos of her now which clearly showed the remarkable change.
Mia said: “When she first came to the hospital we used to call her the ‘Michelin Baby’ as she was so huge with all the bandages.”
Three year-old Pippie was severely burnt in an accident at home when hot braai gel landed on her entire body and burnt through her skin and her fatty tissue. 80% of her body was burnt.
Mia explained that this happened when she was two and a half years old, on New Years Eve of 2011. It took her four hours to get to the hospital after she had been burnt and a gruelling six months of intensive surgery to stabilize her.
Pippie was put under anaesthetic an astounding 52 times and went into cardiac arrest 5 times before doctors managed to resuscitate her.
Mia said: “Her mom was very distressed through the process but later she became a very strong woman. Her dad, who is a professional hunter, was consumed with guilt and trauma and need psychology during the process.”
Mia performed a ground breaking surgery in medicine when he was the first doctor to use cloned skin in Africa.
“We had to apply to the department of Health to deport skin,” said Mia. Two pieces of Pippie’s skin each sized 2 x 6 cm was sent to the Genzyme Laboratories in the states where they have machinery which is able to clone skin to 10 000 times its size.
[pullquote align=”right”]“It was an emotional journey for me and the family and there was times when we had to stop surgery because it became too much.”[/pullquote]
Mia explained that this process alone was difficult because transporting the skin back to South Africa was stressful as the skin is only usable within 24 hours. Mia said: “We put the skin on Pippie with no less than 15 minutes to spare. “
Although Pippie constantly shows signs of further improvement, in the future she will be at high risk of cancer, she cannot be exposed to the sunlight and she cannot be a donor of any kind. However, she is can now walk, talk and recognise faces. “She will continue to recover,” said Mia.
After this long journey with the Kruger family Mia said: “It was an emotional journey for me and the family and there were times when we had to stop surgery because it became too much.”
After 31 matches, 87 goals and 23 wins, Tuks came out on top with a 4-1 win in the final game against the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University last night.
It was an explosive finale to the inaugural Varsity Football challenge. Out of the eight teams who participated in the 2013 Varsity Football challenge the two remaining teams, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) went head-to-head with Tuks from the University of Pretoria in the final.
NMMU, otherwise known as the Madibaz, had a solid defence in the first half of the game. They put their bodies on the line in an attempt at good defense against the home team.
With an atmospheric kick-off for the home team, Tuks plunged their way into dominating ball possession in the first 20 minutes of the game. The Madibaz probed on the edges, and by the 15 minute of the game all the jittery nerves had become a thing of the past.
Tuks tried hard to turn all their defences into attacks and in the 20th minute, defender Lawrence Ntswane opened up the scoring lines by executing a perfect header straight into the goal post. Madibaz goalie Lyndsay Jennings had no chance at stopping the ball just creeping in.
[pullquote align=”right”]“It’s very pleasing and a wonderful thing that has happened for SA rugby and it’s a nice step from school level to professional level.”[/pullquote]
The Madibaz saw their best moment of attack in the first half when centrefold Lukhanyo Rasmeni from Port Elizabeth chanced a direct shot at goal, however with a disappointing result.
To end the first half off perfectly, 22 year-old defender Claudio Barreiro scored the second goal for Tuks in the 44th minute of the game.
Evangelos Vellios, coach for Tuks said: “It’s very pleasing and a wonderful thing that has happened for SA rugby and it’s a nice step from school level to professional level.”
The second half saw the Madibaz return with fighting spirits with quick and nippy kicks and clear strategy for goal attack.
[pullquote]“ We pulled something out of the hat and we definitely saved the best for last.”[/pullquote]
Although Madibaz came back with fighting spirits they were unable to prevent Tuks from scoring their third goal in the 72nd minute of the game. Mbogeni Masilela pushed Tuks to a well deserved three goals. Masilela has scored a total of three goals himself in this tournament.
NMMU decided to make their first change of the game. Alexander Owusu was sent to the bench with number 25 Bradley Peterson replacing him.
Peterson, watching out for the counter attack along with Leroy van Rensburg, a player who was underestimated, together with a joint effort managed to score the first the goal for NMMU in the 77th minute of the game.
Although the Madibaz came back fighting, Tuks brought the game home on their own turf when Masilela once again performed his magic, and with effortless pace and shot the fourth goal for Tuks perfectly into the post in last minute of the game.
The post-match ceremony saw trophies being handed to the champions by Dennis Mumble, Professor Julian Smith and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.
Player of the Tournament was “Scara” Mnyamane from NWU Mafikeng and man of the match was Jarryd van der Berg who said: “ We pulled something out of the hat and we definitely saved the best for last.”
Tristyn Coetsee, goalkeeper for Tuks won the Debonairs Dynamite Goalkeeper prize and the Samsung Super Striker went to Niven Kops from NMMU who said: “We are going back to the drawing boards.”
A GAY OLD TIME: The winning team, Wits All Stars, with members of the Wham! team clap at the end of the game to celebrate a game well played. Photo: Prelene Singh
THE QUEERS of Wits Pride 2013 and members of Wits Sport went head-to-head in an entertaining game of rugby, on Wednesday night at the Wits Rugby Club.
Wham!, an amateur mixed-gender, queer social rugby club, and the Wits All Stars, a team put together by Wits Sport, played a fun and exuberant game with the Wits All Stars winning 26-24.
The game was part of the Wits Pride campaign which was held on campus this past week. The aim of the match was to tackle prejudices against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and asexual (LGBTIA) people of the Wits community.
This epic square-off began weak as the Wham! team tried to get their footing. Wits All Stars came in strong with a leading score by half-time.
[pullquote align=”right”]“One of the aims of Wits Pride 2013 is to establish a safe campus community for all our students and staff. This is particularly important in light of the rising number of attacks on queer South Africans, especially lesbians and trans-women,”[/pullquote]
The second half saw the Wham! players score epic tries and some ambitious drop goals, which quickly made them fast and head-strong competitors.
The game was all in fun as it aimed to integrate people of queer identity with the rest of society. Wham! was created as an alternative space for queer, which includes LGBTIA, people to meet in a healthy social environment.
“Not only is Wham! comprised of members who identify as queer in some way, it is also comprised of players of all genders – none of whom are scared to go for the tackle,” said Transformation Office programme manager Ella Kotze.
The Wham! and Wits All Stars game took place amid the annual Wits Pride festivities, under the theme “Being Me”. Wits Pride is hosted by the Transformation Office.
“One of the aims of Wits Pride 2013 is to establish a safe campus community for all our students and staff. This is particularly important in light of the rising number of attacks on queer South Africans, especially lesbians and trans-women,” said Kotze.
“Several staff members, who encourage students to report their experiences of sexual harassment, have been victimised by the university.”
This was the damning assessment of the treatment of staff members who attempted to blow the whistle on sexual harassment at Wits, as detailed in a report released last week.
[pullquote]The perpetrators of sexual harassment often accused whistleblowers of participating in a “conspiracy” against them.[/pullquote]
The report revealed that Wits staff members felt “sidelined, marginalised” and “silenced” by the university.
These staff members have indicated that they felt like “unprotected whistle-blowers.”
The perpetrators of sexual harassment often accused whistleblowers of participating in a “conspiracy” against them.
“Staff members who have attempted to assist with sexual harassment in the past, have experienced humiliation and silencing by roleplayers, and in some cases been actively labelled by fellow staff-members for causing trouble,” read the report.
According to the report, the “roleplayers” at Wits include the Legal Office, the Employment Relations Office, the Transformation Office, the sexual harassment advisor, Campus Control, Campus Health and university management.
Some staff members interviewed in the report complained that the university did not take a “proactive stance” on sexual harassment and did not deal with the issue.
“For example, in one case, a staff member has reported that a contract worker in partnership with the university has, on numerous occasions, aggressively targeted female staff,” read the report.
[pullquote align=”right”]“Staff members who have attempted to assist with sexual harassment in the past, have experienced humiliation and silencing by roleplayers, and in some cases been actively labelled by fellow staff-members for causing trouble,”[/pullquote] read the report.
“Although this has been reported, to date nothing has been done from the university’s side, and as a result, there has been a high turnover rate of female staff in that department, who simply cannot work under such conditions.”
The report notes that ordinary staff members were at the “coalface” of sexual harassment as students being victimised are more likely to turn to them for help.
Because of this, staff should be constantly trained and supported in their dealing with student complaints of harassment.
by Prelene Singh and Ray Mahlaka. Audio by Nokuthula Manyathi. Gallery by Nolwazi Mjwara.
OUTRAGED activists and mine workers walked out of the Ruth First Memorial lecture this evening, in protest at the lack of engagement following Trevor Manuel’s Ruth First lecture.
Members of the public and of the university community gathered in the Great Hall to hear the annual memorial lecture of slain activist, journalist and scholar, Ruth First. Professor Anton Harber of Wits Journalism, vice chancellor Professor Adam Habib and Minister of the National Planning Commission, Trevor Manuel all addressed the audience.
“We should not be afraid to be unorthodox”
In the lecture itself Manuel spoke about the challenges of mine workers, the migrant labour system and the national development plan but was careful to point out that anything he said should not be seen as preemptive of the decisions of the official commission of inquiry which is ongoing. He also addressed the problem of equality in the mining and migrant labour sectors in South Africa.
The commission of inquiry was launched to find answers to the killing of 34 miners by police last year but has been plagued by financial issues. Manuel said South Africans should give the commission full confidence that it needs for it to find answers. [pullquote]”We are all sorry that people died but clearly Trevor Manuel is not.”[/pullquote]
Manuel said after Marikana last year on August 16: “We have learnt much about the human condition and solidarity and we should not be afraid to be unorthodox.”
Shortly after Manuel completed his speech, Claire Ceruti, activist with the Democratic Left Front said his speech was “rubbish.” From her seat at the back of the hall she shouted “Give us the right to talk about inequality, we are all sorry that people died but clearly Trevor Manuel is not.”
“This is an abuse of the memory of Marikana”
Ceruti said Manuel repeated everything they already knew. She said everyone sat and listened to him [Manuel] speak, now “we want to ask questions”. Ceruti said: “This is an abuse of the memory of Marikana and she said “its ridiculous” regarding the current inequalities in the mining industry and the profit made by the mining companies, which is being sent overseas and not being spent locally.
“People are just getting poor, he can’t argue that there is an improvement in living conditions at the mines … Trevor Manuel is not sorry about people who are dying. We just want to see justice after his role in Marikana,” said Ceruti.
CLICK TO LISTEN:
Ceruti and the group of miners she had arrived with were escorted out of the hall by Campus Control with the vice-chancellor in close proximity.
In response to the disruption, Manuel commented after the lecture: “I don’t know what their concerns are. They started shouting and screaming. I don’t know the issues they raised. That was not appropriate raising the issues at the memorial lecture.”
Prof Habib said that the “right to protest is protected and we respected and allowed it to happen”.
Habib said that if questions were taken the conversation might have never ended but “I am glad it happened and I’m glad we managed to move on”. “I think its wonderful and is a representation of the complexity of her [Ruth First] life, and that’s what we hoped for.
Anita Khana of the Marikana Support Campaign said she was not satisfied by what Manuel said. Khana also said that mining companies are more worried about profits.
[pullquote]I feel like vomiting[/pullquote]
Khana said that “Manuel showed a deep understanding of inequality but there is a real gap between what he thinks inequality is and what is actually happening.”
Ceruti said: “I feel like vomiting”. She expressed concern around the fact that Manuel came and gave a wonderful speech and made everyone listen to some music and goes home feeling wonderful about himself.
Marikana Support Campaign
Trevor Ngwane, spokesperson for the Marikana Support Campaign said: “The miners were silenced today” when he expressed his concern over the fact that there was no conversation about this in the lecture. Ngwane said: “The miners came here today hoping to get five minutes to have their say”.
He said the miners wanted to to say that they were still suffering and their wages was “starvation wages”.
The most important thing Ngwane said the miners wanted, was to appeal to Manuel for funds to pay for their legal representation at the Marikana Commission. Workers have withdrawn from the commission because they do not have funds to participate. This is unfair because they are the victims, said Ngwane. Dali Mpofu, the advocate representing the miners said: “It would have been important for him to reconcile the recent decision of the Cabinet to turn their backs on the miners.”
“They weren’t capable do that without opening up the debate between what obviously are clashing classes. There were workers here and those who belong to the elite should be confronting the issues of inequality” Mpofu said when addressing the question of whether the event was what he expected.
[pullquote align=”right”] “I think Ruth First would have loved it”[/pullquote]
A miner who was shot last year by police in the labour disputes commented in an interview with Wits Vuvuzela: “Its painful what they are doing to us. He was suppose to speak the truth, the real challenges of mine workers. No body is listening to us and it worries me. We are not stupid, we want progress as to why we have been killed.
“At the moment we do not have rights.”
Scatterlings of Africa
Johnny Clegg who was summoned to the stage minutes after the members of Marikana Support Campaign and the miners were escorted out of the hall by security said: “It was a magical moment” and “I think Ruth First would have loved it”. He said that it was a confirmation of South African democracy and a conversation which needs to happen
The night ended off with Clegg performing some of his greatest hits including the international hit “Scatterlings of Africa”.
Sunny Lyuke, Head of School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, said: “The main reason for the renovation is to house world class modern laboratories.”
All seven floors of Richard Ward will be modernised. The first phase included renovating the laboratories on floor two and the postgraduate space on floor seven.
“The building is about 40 years’ old and needs to be revamped,” Prinsloo said.
The modernisation is also aimed at expanding teaching and research spaces. The modernisation project aims to; increase the School’s contribution to industry-related research by introducing five new laboratories spaces in biochemical processes, nanotechnology, atomic absorption and volatile organic compounds.
[pullquote]“Nothing will happen in the next six to 10 months.”[/pullquote]
Edward Brooks, the project architect, said they started in November and finished at the end of June with phase one. There was a team of 10 designers who managed and developed the design and at maximum 100 contractors who worked on the ground.
According to the Wits website there has been an increase in chemical and metallurgical engineering students and therefore there is a greater need for infrastructure improvements than before. These changes will ensure the highest levels of teaching are achieved according to the site.
But Prinsloo said: “Nothing will happen in the next six to 10 months.”
He further said once the last two phases have started, they will take approximately 12 to 18 months to complete.
An infographic tracking everything which has happened with regard to sexual harassment on campus till now. Graphic: Prelene Singh
THE UNIVERSITY is sitting tight on the official reports from sexual harassment hearings which resulted in the dismissal of two lecturers last week.
Tsepo wa Mamatu and Dr Last Moyo were fired last week by the university after they were found guilty of sexual harassment and misconduct during hearings conducted by Wits and law firm Bowman Gilfillan.
However, the details of the harassment and misconduct leading to the dismissals appear to be a tightly kept secret with only one staff member, Employee Relations head Elaine Milton, in possession of a report on the hearing’s findings.
[pullquote]“Under no circumstance can I release the details of the report, it is completely confidential and would be a breach of policy to release it,” [/pullquote]
Vice Chancellor Adam Habib told Wits Vuvuzela that he did not have a copy of the report and did not know its exact contents.
Xolisile Selatela, associate attorney from Bowman Gilfillan, participated in Moyo’s hearing but said “no, I don’t know,” when asked if she knew the details of why the former lecturer was dismissed. She then put down the phone abruptly.
Milton, the only person with the report, declined to speak about its details with Wits Vuvuzela. “Under no circumstance can I release the details of the report, it is completely confidential and would be a breach of policy to release it,” Milton said.
Moyo declined to comment on the report while wa Mamatu could not be reached for comment. The dismissals are a point of contention with the lecturers. In previous interviews, wa Mamatu said the university was only trying to claim “moral authority” by firing him while Moyo said the accusations against him were not serious and he was fired for “petty” reasons.
Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel told Wits Vuvuzela: “The university stands by their decision made by the independent chair of the disciplinary committee.” Patel added that both former staff members had a right to appeal their dismissals.
Meanwhile, a campus wide inquiry into sexual harassment policy is also being conducted by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) and law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.
CALS director Bonita Meyersfeld said that it was important to identify flaws in the existing policy such as when it did not address inappropriate behaviour by students and staff.
[pullquote align=”right”]“The university stands by their decision made by the independent chair of the disciplinary committee.” [/pullquote]
The policy inquiry will release a report at the end of the month. In contrast to the report on the disciplinary hearings, Meyersfield said the policy report would be made public.
Meyersfeld said there was already debate over its findings. For example, people had strong opinions on whether or not student-lecturer relationships should be banned.
“There is no silver bullet solution and we have to work hard to apply our minds to the entire university to achieve this,” Meyersfield said.
A list of specific questions asked by staff and students about sexual harassment policy has been drawn up and will be included in the policy report.
Things are not always what they seem. Cliché I know. But if we look critically at society, we can see that people are programmed to listen to and believe what is socially acceptable. This is not necessarily anyone’s fault nor is it a shame to admit that sometimes you do not think beyond what is presented to you in the media and the people around you.
With the stirring reports of sexual harassment on our campus over the last few months and the massive problem of rape in South Africa, I started to think maybe there is more to the situation than we force ourselves to believe.
After watching the Carte Blanche television interview on Sunday night with Zwelinzima Vavi, I was surprised to hear his reaction to the rape accusations made against him. He was shockingly forth coming about his endeavours with this woman who made these accusations. He admitted to having an affair with her and apologised for his actions. He also recognised his mistake and took full responsibility for this.
I watched this interview fives inches away from the television screen. I watched for those uncertain twitches, those wandering eye balls and guilty hand gestures; however to my disappointment I did not see them. Vavi was shockingly composed and sincere.
Among the many things he said, one important line stood out to me: people who are in powerful positions often get sexual advances from women in their work space because of their authoritative stance. It’s the whole idea of power relations between people.
I remember a woman who made a significant impression on me. She once said: “There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.”
I believe that sometimes women are more intelligent, more devious and more strategic than we as a population give them credit for. In this constantly changing and erratic world we live in, people are money and career driven. Women have a particular power which few men can withstand – the power of seduction.
The Victorian era is an example. For those who are not literary enthusiasts, in this era women used their beauty and seduction to gain the highest advantage over men. Beauty was seen as the definition of character and in a day where women were slaves to men, aesthetics was the one thing women used to get their way.
As much as women are the general victims of sexual harassment, sometimes and I emphasise sometimes, it is not only one sided. Women can offer men something they desire in order to get what the woman wants. It may be financial support, career-jumping opportunities or whatever else they need in their personal lives in return for sexual favours.
During my research for all the harassment stories we covered in Wits Vuvuzela, I was repeatedly made aware of this by readers of the paper. Harassment on campus is not just between lecturers and students but also between students and students. I cannot help but think that a university campus is the perfect breeding ground for harassment because of the need to succeed and push forward in life. Here, more than anywhere else, I think it is important to consider that women can and will take advantage of what is presented to them.
By the same token, though, it is still the responsibility of any lecturer – as the person who holds the power in the relationship – to resist any attempts to manipulate them.
A real revolution would be a revolution of consciousness in society.
STUDENTS and staff of Wits University gathered today in the Great Hall for a meeting with the vice chancellor, Adam Habib. Questions were asked, key problems were addressed and the audience had the chance to voice their opinions directly to the rector of the institution.
AN ALTERNATIVE way of viewing modern art is right on your doorstep after the Wits Art Museum launched their WAM After Hours event earlier this week.
The launch took place at WAM in Braamfontein and featured technological art called “Art in Motion”. Many art enthusiasts attended the event and were required to do a walk through the museum before arriving at the common area where drinks, live entertainment and doodling stations were set up.
The first piece by Nathaniel Stern about the distortion of communication. Photo: Ray Mahlaka
Laura de Harde, one of the tour guides, led people into the museum for their three stop tour. The first exhibition was held on the lower level of the museum and it showcased still art. The art on display was entered into the 2013 Martienssen Prize exhibition with Antonia Brown’s “I will tell him when he comes back” piece which won the award.
Brown’s ancient audio recording device demonstrated how language can be lost by showing that once a voice of a person travels over the magnet on the recorder, it is lost forever.
The next exhibition was held on the second floor of the museum which was called by the guide as “ground zero” of the art museum. Here people were able to get involved with the art as it was technological art. Projector screens with sensors at the bottom caught images of people who walked past and subsequently displayed different images on the screen.
The first piece used sound and image to portray art. When a person walked past the screen an outline of the person appeared and surrounding images and words appeared around the outline in a confusing and distorting manner.
[pullquote]“Experience text with your body.”[/pullquote]
The piece was to demonstrate how image and sound can distort communication. The artist Nathaniel Stern seemed to be expressing a sort of frustration he had with communication.
The art pieces by Stern make audiences encounter complex relationships between bodies and language. His artworks forces people to grab text with their bodies, draw letters with our heads and listen with their bodies.
A piece by Tegan Bristow involved talking through a microphone and looking at your face on the screen which was replaced with Jacob Zuma’s face. Other pieces captured a person’s energy by representing colourful or dull flowers depending on the energy received by the sensor.
Tegan Bristow’s microphone art piece. Photo: Ray Mahlaka
Bristow’s pieces invite playfulness between images and interactive engagement with the art. People are able to relate with each other within the frame of the artworks.
The last stop of the exhibition was on the third level of the museum. Here people were meant to understand the meaning of words and letters. Another piece by Stern required someone to stand in front of the screen and catch the words flying around them.
Once you caught a word a speaker blurts out a non-conformist definition of the word.
According to Mpho Qhomane a ‘WAMbassador’, this is a “saturated” experience where words make one think deeper about text; Stern wants you to “experience text with your body.”
Bristow and Stern’s artwork asks us about the consequences of our movement and how these physical interactions change relationships we have with others.
The purpose of Art in Motion is to show how our actions reflect meaning.
People were intrigued and fascinated by motion art and the attendance was high in the ranks. People experienced as much as they could with the art standings around the museum.