Decolonial AestheSis Creative Lab

The Art on our Mind experimental lab was facilitated by Prof Bhekizizwe Peterson (South African literature scholar and screen writer); Jon Alpert (American journalist and documentary filmmaker); Laura Andel (Argentine composer ); Vibha Galhotra (Indian visual artist); Sharlene Khan (visual artist) and Fouad Asfour (art writer and editor).
8-14 July  2018
School of Fine Arts  |   Somerset Street
Grahamstown, South Africa

More information below and on the DACL blog.

The Decolonial AestheSis Creative Lab invites students from all years and departments to share experimental in-field practices through decolonial AestheSis dialogues with experienced practitioners. The Creative Lab challenges facilitators to reflect on their in-field experimental practices across their professional work: literature scholar/screen writer Prof Bhekizizwe Peterson; US American journalist/documentary filmmaker Jon Alpert; Argentine composer Laura Andel and Indian visual artist Vibha Galhotra; visual artist Dr Sharlene Khan and writer/editor Fouad Asfour. Students from all years and departments are invited to share experimental in-field practices through decolonial AestheSis dialogues with experienced practitioners. Students will collectively experiment on their future (and experienced) professional practices and imagine creative methodologies in various spaces, including artistic practices in visual arts, music, drama and performance, radio and journalism, film and TV, creative writing, teaching methodologies, cultural activism, community work, language and publishing, and so on.

The Decolonial AestheSis Creative Lab is based on selection through an application process. Students can be at any level of their undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The cost of the Creative Lab is R200 per student (any student not able to afford this fee can write to Dr Khan).

Students who are chosen for the Creative Lab must be able to attend the full seven-day lab, from morning to evening sessions. Part of the challenge, and fun of this lab, will be to participate and be exposed to creativity in an inter-disciplinary manner.

Selection of candidates is made on the basis of a creative presentation that is submitted to the Art on our Mind selection committee. The Lab is based on three texts which are available online and for download here:

Gaztambide-Fernández, Rubén (2014). Decolonial options and artistic/aestheSic entanglements: An interview with Walter Mignolo. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 3:1, 196-212.

Mignolo, Walter & Rolando Vázquez (2013). Decolonial AestheSis: Colonial Wounds/Decolonial Healings. Periscope July 2013.

Peterson, Bhekizizwe (2007). Self-referential filmmaking. Keynote address at the People to People International Documentary Conference 13 September 2007, available at kagablog.

Once you have read the texts, create a presentation in any form (literary, visual, musical, performative) that demonstrates how your praxis is/might be influenced by decolonial aestheSis theories, and inform your trajectory / thinking about creativities. The emphasis in this Creative Lab is on the relationship between theory and praxis.

Written submissions must not be more than 5 pages, and audio-visual presentations not more than 5 mins. Selection of the final participants will be based on the innovation and creativity (and understanding of the importance of decolonialising aestheTics) of the submissions.

The application form should be submitted online, and creative responses sent to by 30 May 2018. For any queries, please email Dr Khan on