The Institute for Creative Arts (ICA, formerly GIPCA) is proud to present the 3rd Space Symposium, Decolonisation and the Creative Arts, to be held from 13 -14 May at the University of Cape Town’s Hiddingh Campus.

The 3rd Space Symposium is an interdisciplinary event which will explore ideas around the imperative to decolonise the university, the role of the creative arts in provoking change, and the dialectic between the settled nature of academic curricula and the spontaneity of transformation.  As a starting point, the title of the symposium draws on Homi Bhabha’s notion of a hybrid “third space” that “displaces the histories that constitute it, and sets up new structures of authority, new political initiatives, which are inadequately understood through received wisdom” [Rutherford 1990].

At the core of the #rhodesmustfall and #feesmustfall movements lie ideas of representation, identity, heritage, symbolism and art works. The creative and performing arts do not exist in a vacuum. It is within these contexts that the ideas around the 3rd Space Symposium evolved. As part of its ongoing project to facilitate interdisciplinary research and dialogue in the creative and performing arts that disrupts boundaries, the ICA brings together addresses, panel discussions, public debate, performances, film screenings and art exhibitions to explore the subject. 

Ideas, pertaining to history and heritage, language, hybridity, the creative economy and curriculum will be explored by academics, performers, curators, musicians, choreographers and playwrights. The Symposium will also provide a platform for probing the potential of the university curriculum to respond to the fluidity of transformation, and to generate forms for carrying transformation forward.

A unique and essential characteristic of the Symposium is that audiences will be invited to sit in groups at round tables, and discussion will be encouraged and programmed after all presentations. The 3rd Space Symposium is the first of three annual symposia around this complex and timeous subject and features, amongst others:

Keynote addresses by: writer and political analyst, Sisonke Msimang and academic and columnist, Nomalanga Mkhize and acclaimed musician, Neo Muyanga.

Papers by: Director of the Wits Theatre, Gita Pather; award-winning director and playwright, Mwenya Kabwe; academic and performer, Lieketso “Dee” Mohoto; writer Nadia Davids; architect Ilze Wolff; academic, Hedley Twidle; academic and voice artist, Lesoko Seabe; artist and writer, Lois Anguria; language and literature specialist, Xolisa Guzula and Carolyn McKinney, language specialist and senior lecturer.

Performances by: renowned choreographer Nelisiwe Xaba; spoken-word poet, Koleka Putuma; artist and theatre-maker, Jacques Mushaandja and performance artists,Vasiki – Creative Citizens; an interactive and performative video installation by multi-media artist, Chrisantha Chetty; a film by visual and performance artist Sikhumbuzo Makandula and a presentation by director, dancer and choreographer, jackï job.

Music by musician and traditional healer, Ntombethongo. 

Download the full 3rd Space Symposium programme.

The 3rd Space Symposium takes place at Hiddingh Hall, University of Cape Town Hiddingh Campus, 31 – 37 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town, from Friday 13 May to Saturday 14 May.

All are welcome, and entry is free but due to limited space booking is essential.

For more information contact the ICA office on +27 21 650 7156 or

[Image credit: Nelisiwe Xaba - Fremde Tänze, photo by Tasmin Jade Donaldson]

About ICA
The Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) is an interdisciplinary institute in the University of Cape Town’s Humanities Faculty – formerly the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA).  The ICA facilitates research projects in the creative and performing arts that disrupt boundaries, while underscoring creative education and practice across discipline and faculty. Interdisciplinarity, Live Art and Public Spheres are key themes of the Institute, and projects are imbued with innovation, collaboration and a dialogue with urbanism and community.

FRIDAY, MAY 13: Listen to the podcasts:

3rd Space Symposium: welcome by Jay Pather

3rd Space Symposium: Koleka Putuma

3rd Space Sympsium – Mwenya Kabwe & Lieketso ‘Dee’ Mohoto

3rd Space Symposium: Ilze Wolff

3rd Space Symposium: Lois Anguria

3rd Space Symposium: jackï job

3rd Space Symposium: Vasiki

3rd Space Symposium: Feedback and questions from the audience

3rd Space Symposium: Sisonke Msimang

3rd Space Symposium: Nelisiwe Xaba

3rd Space Symposium: Sikhumbuzo Makandula

3rd Space Symposium: Neo Muyanga ‘Revolting Music’

SATURDAY, MAY 14: Listen to the podcasts:

3rd Space Symposium: welcome Jay Pather

3rd Space Symposium: Xolisa Guzula & Carolyn McKinney

3rd Space Symposium: Lesoko Seabe

3rd Space Symposium: Hedley Twiddle

3rd Space Symposium: Julia Raynham

3rd Space Symposium: Gita Pather

3rd Space Symposium: C.O.C.A.

3rd Space Symposium: Ntombethongo

Start: 13 May ’16

End: 14 May ’16

Cost: Free


Organizer: ICA


Venue: Hiddingh Hall

Phone: +27 21 650 7156

Address: UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa