Experts in many and varied disciplines gather to explore climate change at the Hot Water Symposium, hosted by the Gordon Institute of Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) in association with the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) on 28 and 29 September 2012.
Keynote speaker Professor Mark New is the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director of the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), University of Cape Town. Professor New acts on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor’s office to provide enhanced academic leadership around the strategic goal of addressing the climate and development challenges of Africa from an African perspective, and he takes the lead in facilitating and substantially extending climate research at UCT, as well as continuing his own research. He holds a joint appointment as Professor of Climate Science at the School of Geography and Environment, University of Oxfo rd.
Completing his Honours studies at UCT, New went on to receive an MPhil in Environment and Development, and a PhD in Geography (Climate Change and Hydrology) from Cambridge University. Over the last 12 years, he was involved in two outstanding Masters programmes at Oxford University’s School of Geography and Environment: as a lecturer on the MSc in Environmental Change and Management, which has a strong climate change science and policy focus; and as Academic Director of the MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management. New has a wide range of experience and professional training in communicating with stakeholders who range from lay public, through to media organisations, NGOs, industry and government agency professionals and government departments, and his international reputation and track record has attracted sign ificant external funding for large research programmes. His research and consulting expertise in climate change, especially with respect to development in Africa, spans key interlinked areas of climate science: climate monitoring, climate modeling, impacts assessment, especially with regard to water, and adaptation.
Warren Nebe is the Founder and Director of Drama for Life at the University of the Witwatersrand – an internationally acclaimed postgraduate academic and research programme that focuses on dialogue for purposes of social transformation through an integrated approach to applied drama, drama in education and drama therapy. As a research member of the Wits School of Human & Community Development’s Apartheid Archives Research Project, Nebe has curated a number of social development initiatives, focussing on how an integrated drama and theatre education, therapy and activist approach can foster capacity development in HIV/Aids and Human Rights education throughout Africa.
A previous Head of Dramatic Art, Wits School of Arts, Nebe is a theatre director, senior lecturer, a HPCSA and NADT registered Drama Therapist and a Fulbright Alumni. His research focuses on identity construction, representation and memory in South Africa through an auto-ethnographic theatre-making approach.
The film component of the weekend is largely drawn from contributions to Letters from the Sky – a film festival curated by transmedia artist Kai Lossgott. Predominately concerned with the personal element in green politics, Lossgott’s work has been widely exhibited in South Africa and abroad. Lossgott was also the curator of the CITY BREATH Festival of Video Poetry and Performance (2010), initiating and bringing together short interdisciplinary and experimental films from four South African cities; a selection from which were screened at the British Film Institute in London in May 2010, followed by an international tour. Lossgott holds a B Journ from R hodes University (specialising in documentary filmmaking and dance theatre), an Advanced Diploma in Visual Arts from UNISA, and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. He has written and edited tertiary coursework and lectured at various South African universities, as well as facilitating community arts initiatives.
Ann-Marie Tully holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, and is an academic author and art writer. Her visual and written research is concerned with the rhetorical and reductive representation of non-human creatures; and the disparate interface between human ‘culture’ and the ‘natural’ world. She curates the Facing the Climate exhibition which forms part of the weekend’s proceedings.
Sarah Ward is a South African urban planner and has worked since 1986 in urban planning, housing, and urban and national energy planning and implementation. She was a founder of the Development Action Group and of Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA) where she was a director from 1995 to 2005. SEA works with South African cities in sustainable energy planning and implementation. Since 2008, Ward has been employed as the head of Energy and Climate Change for the City of Cape Town where she has been developing the institutional space to drive this new area, and leading a number of core projects such as a city-wide electricity saving campaign, energy efficiency projects in council operations and a large scale solar water h eater roll out programme. She has also overseen an in-depth energy data and energy futures modelling study for the city to inform forward planning, and was a leading member of the City’s Climate Change Think Tank. She is the author of The New Energy Book (2008) and has co-authored a number of manuals on sustainable urban energy planning, including Sustainable Energy Planning for cities in developing countries (2010).
Inspired by the dynamics, and ecological and cultural heritage of this country, Linzi Lewis (who goes by the name Liliana Transplanter – her ‘Guerrilla Gardener’ persona) is driven to create multifunctional, beautiful and meaningful urban spaces, which reflect the diversity and desires of the local context. In this way, she works with innovative people and methods to create relevant artistic and greening interventions, transforming both the physical space and our perceptions. She also integrally uses creative dialogical techniques to allow for information sharing in order to ensure locally-defined development and that sincere participation is achieved. Her Masters research focusses on An Assessment of the Biodiversity and Bio-Cultural Values in Food Gard en Programmes in South Africa, with previous research covering The potential of paper- waste as an effective and relevant alternative to solid fuel use, and The Development of Johannesburg as an African Cosmopolitan City.
Tom Sanya, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town’s School of Architecture, employs a trans-disciplinary approach to undertake ethically engaged scholarship on design and fabrication, with a focus on buildings, space and related artifacts. Sanya attained a PhD from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (Norway), and continues to aims for research results that are simultaneously relevant to academia and directly valuable to society.
Other prominent speakers taking to the stage during the weekend includePenny Price, of the Climate Change and Biodiversity Directorate from the Western Cape Government; Joseph Daron, Post-doctoral Fellow in the Climate System Analysis Group at the University of Cape Town and environmental artist and activist Simon Max Bannister,who will also be exhibiting his most recent body of work.
The Hot Water Symposium comprises presentations, panel discussions, the screenings of several films, and a unique workshop in working with drawing and cartoons as mechanisms for giving shape and form to issues of climate change and environmental awareness.
Hot Water runs from Friday 28 to Saturday 29 September at UCT’s Hiddingh Campus. This dynamic and thought-provoking symposium is free of charge and open to all, but booking is essential. Refreshments will be served. The full programme will be available from www.gipca.uct.ac.za from Friday 14 September. For more information and booking, please contact the GIPCA office on 021 480 7156 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Keynote speaker Professor Mark New is the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director of the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), University of Cape Town.