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27 October 2019 - 27 October 2019

9:00AM - 6:00PM

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Location: Multiple locations, see programme for details

Symposium: What Happens At The Edges

On Sunday, 27 October 2019, Zeitz MOCAA hosts What Happens At The Edges, a one-day symposium of discussions and performances related to the landmark exhibition, Why Should I Hesitate: Putting Drawings To Work, by world-renowned artist, William Kentridge.

The title of the exhibition, Why Should I Hesitate, presents a riddle questioning the impact of individual action on history and the reverse – how an individual history shapes the present and the future. For the symposium, What Happens at The Edges, the presentations, performances and conversations will consider the edge of the tangible sense of reason, rationality and meaning in action.  Here Kentridge’s approach to seeing the world through the lens of art, not as a separate form of language, but one of temporary coherences embedded in, and in constant dialogue with the world, will be investigated and mediated.

Bringing together performers, writers, artists, curators and historians, the one-day symposium expands on the predicaments representing both the artistic making, as well as those things that inform it, contextualising the quandary of historical positionality and action.

The programme includes a keynote address by international curator, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and other  participants include renowned thinkers and producers such as Achille Mbembe, Andrew Lamprecht, Antjie Krog, Ashraf Jamal, Carolyn Hamilton, Emma Bedford, Iman Isaacs, Jane Taylor, Michael Godby, Nkule Mabaso,  Premesh Lalu, Richard September, Storm Janse Van Rensburg and Themba Stewart.

The day will be concluded with a lecture by William Kentridge.

Symposium programme
Morning: 9 a.m.:
Welcome: Zeitz MOCAA Executive Director and Chief Curator, Koyo Kouoh. This will be followed by a performance from the play ‘Red Aloes’

Session 1:
What Happens at the Edges: Critical Threads in Contemporary Art Today
Keynote by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

Session 2:
Drawing for Other Faces: Erasure and Animation in the works of William Kentridge
Jane Taylor, Ashraf Jamal and Emma Bedford (Moderator)

Session 3:
‘Red Aloes’
Excerpt directed by Themba Stewart, performed by Iman Isaacs and Richard September

Session 4:
Remembering the Treason Trial: Alternative Readings for Truth and Reconciliation
Achille Mbembe, Antjie Krog and Carolyn Hamilton (Moderator)

Session 5:
‘Red Aloes’
Excerpt directed by Themba Stewart, performed by Iman Isaacs and Richard September

Lunch 1:15 p.m.

Afternoon: 3:15 p.m.

Session 6:
Art in a State of Siege: Trauma and Procession in the work of Kentridge and his Contemporaries
Michael Godby, Andrew Lamprecht, Premesh Lalu, Nkule Mabaso and Storm Janse Van Rensburg (Moderator)

Session 7:
Performance lecture by William Kentridge

Programme concludes at 6 p.m.

We express our gratitude to the participants and organisations for their support in hosting this symposium to expand critical dialogue within the arts.
The symposium will be documented and uploaded onto our digital platforms. For further details, please contact

The symposium is convened by Precious Mhone (Curatorial Assistant), Tammy Langtry (Curatorial Assistant), Sakhisizwe Gcina (Curatorial Assistant) and Tandazani Dhlakama (Assistant Curator) with support from Tiffany Adams (Events Manager), Belinda Tamukedde (Events Assistant), Lauren Hess (Communications and Marketing Manager) and Gontse Mathabathe (Curator of Digital Platforms).

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