Arts writer and artist, Clayton Campbell, will discuss a unique participatory photographic project, Words We Have Learned Since 9/11, as part of GIPCA’s Great Texts/Big Questions public lecture series. The lecture will take place on Thursday 31 July at the Anatomy Lecture Theatre, UCT Hiddingh Campus.

Initiated in 2005, Campbell’s project establishes an international dialogue about cultural difference and how persons view their future. Campbell has invited over 1000 people to participate in Words We Have Learned Since 9/11 with each participant answering two questions: “What new words have you learned since 9/11, or what words did you know that have taken on a new meaning for you since 9/11.” Each participant is photographed with their chosen words, and their portrait added to the exhibition. 

In 2014, more than a decade after September 11, 2001, Campbell explains that the most important word in the title of the project is “since”. Words We Have Learned Since 9/11 is not directly about 9/11, but about everything that has happened to people since then. “What is happening now, where are we going, how do we feel? What new words are we learning, what words have changed for you?” asks the artist.

Words We Have Learned Since 9/11 has been exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Higher Bridges Art Center, Enniskellen, Northern Ireland; Nam June Paik Art Center, Korea; University of Nevada Las Vegas; WYSPA Art Institute, Gdansk, Poland; New Media Center, Kurdestan; Museum of Dubrovnik and Zagreb, Croatia; Aaran Gallery, Tehran, Iran; International Center of Contemporary Art, Bucharest; Three Shadows Art Center, Beijing; and the Exploratorium, San Francisco.

Clayton Campbell is a cultural producer working for the past 35 years as a visual artist, arts writer, administrator, and consultant to international philanthropic foundations. From 1996-2010 he was the Co- Executive and Artistic Director of the 18th Street Art Center in Santa Monica, California, where he worked closely with hundreds of national and international contemporary artists, curators, critics and writers. A prolific writer, he is the Los Angeles Correspondent for Flash Art Magazine (Milan), and his reviews, essays and features on artists have been published in numerous art journals. Best known for works that are socially engaged, Campbell has received several research grants and fellowships, and in 2003 was presented with the award of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. His work is held in private and public collections, and he is represented by Coagula Gallery, Los Angeles.

This lecture will take place on Thursday 31 July at 17:30 at the Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Old Medical School Building, UCT Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town; and is free. Refreshments will be served from 17:00; no booking is necessary. For more information, contact the GIPCA office on 021 480 7156 or

Clayton Campbell will be conducting a workshop on Thursday 31 July from 14:00 – 16:00 at the Michaelis Galleries (Upper Gallery) for local participants. Members of the public who wish to participate in Words We Have Learned Since 9/11, can book via

Clayton Campbell audio recording available for download.

Venue: Anatomy Lecture Theatre

Address: Google Map 31-37 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa