By Confidence Joseph, Ryan Poinasamy, Meghan Judge and Mapule Mohulatsi
In the latest episode of The WiSER Podcast, Confidence Joseph, Ryan Poinasamy, Meghan Judge and Mapule Mohulatsi go below the water line as they describe new avenues for research in the environmental humanities and critical ocean studies.
Confidence Joseph is an African Literature doctoral candidate at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Mapule Mohulatsi is a reader and writer from Johannesburg. She is completing a PhD in African Literature at Wits.
Ryan Poinasamy is based in the department of African Literature at the University of Witwatersrand.
Meghan Judge is an artist and researcher working on a PhD in creative work at the Wits School of Arts.
All four are fellows of the Oceanic Humanities for the Global South programme at WiSER.
Launch of WiSER Podacst
Podcast by Professor Isabel Hofmeyr
The first episode feature of WiSER Podcast, owing to COVID-19, Professor Isabel Hofmeyr is in conversation with Postdoctoral Fellow Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh on her forthcoming book Hydrocolonialism.
Beginning from Amal Donqul’s statement that the sea like the desert does not quench thirst, READING CYCLE #1 invites participants to explore questions of entanglement, chaos, desire, contradiction within everyday life and the imminent unknown. The cycle traces the echogenic qualities of water, its reverberating hums, its fluidity and constant movement back and forth, which impel a becoming (other)wise.
Through a performativity of textual immersion in which boundaries between literary and theoretical genres become porous, and dissipate against and within each other, the cycle enunciates wetness as a conduit for the affective capacities of words. The title points to the sensorium of cetaceans, suggesting a trans-position and embalming of our own orientations to embrace hydromechanics as a gesture of (dis)solution, a streaming of bodies, and a pooling of temporalities. This use of ‘temporal’ touches upon the use of temps in French for both time and weather, heeding us that we should think of time, citing Michel Serres, as aleatory mixtures of the temperaments, of intemperate weather, of tempests and temperature which percolates rather than flows. Time is thus approached as historically thermodynamic. In aligning the sessions with the quarter moons a tidal attenuation and equilibrium is approached outside of chrononormativity. Cast beneath the waters, one crosses over into an aesthetics of drowning.
To See With The Ears and Speak With The Nose forms part of Holding Water - a programme of workshops, reading groups, film screenings and artist presentations that think the oceanic from land-locked Johannesburg, commissioned by POOL and the Oceanic Humanities for the Global South, WiSER, Wits University.
In this contribution to Holding Water, Lindsay Bremner will present ongoing research by Monsoon Assemblages, the European Research Council funded research project she currently leads. She will discuss the monsoon as a global weather system and how the project has used it as a method to frame three Bay of Bengal cities – Chennai (India), Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Yangon (Myanmar). This has mobilised the monsoon and its modalities – aerial, hydrological and geological – to generate new concepts, new drawings and new methods of urban research.
Friday 25 October 2019
10.00 — 16.00
VENUE: WISER, 6TH FLOOR RICHARD WARD
BUILDING, EAST CAMPUS, UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG
How to think the ocean from this dry city, and how to think the city oceanically?
The Oceanic Humanities for the Global South WiSER and Johannesburg arts organisation POOL are collaborating on a research and exhibition project focused on the politics and poetics of oceanic flows, from the perspective of land-locked Johannesburg. POOL’s ongoing ‘Ocean Thinking’ project postulates that a large part of the political, social and economic reality of the post-colonial global South has been and continues to be produced in and through its relationship to the ocean. Oceanic Humanities aims to decolonize histories of oceanic space while providing new approaches to literary and aesthetic understandings of water. Their collaboration draws together academic, literary and cultural studies with practice-based research
ARCHIVES OF AFRO-ASIA: EXCAVATING THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF THE EARLY DECOLONISATION ERA
with THE CENTRE FOR INDIAN STUDIES IN AFRICA
Oceanic Humanities for the Global South supported the hosting of the conference Archives of Afro-Asia. Our research team member, Pindhi Mnyaka presented "The 'Orient' in East London: revisiting the obscure case of an 'exotic Indian tiger' on the beach in segregation-era South Africa".
THE 15TH ANNUAL LITERATURE AND ECOLOGY COLLOQUIUM
AMAZWI SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM OF LITERATURE
Six of the Oceanic Humanities team attended the annual Literature and Ecology Colloquium, formerly hosted by Rhodes University and newly by the Amazwi National English Literature Museum. Anezia Asse presented a paper on the Island of Mozambique and how narratives of marine archaeology intersect with a novel by Mia Couto about a one-legged mermaid. Linked to this, Mapule Mohulatsi presented a paper on representations of black mermaids in South African art and culture. Zoe Neocosmos presented a paper on Yvette Christiansë’s poetry and its representation of human and inhuman life in relation to slavery and rememory, while Ryan Poinasamy dealt with imagining abalone life undersea. Charne Lavery presented on the conundrum of Africa’s relationship to Antarctica, and Jonathan Cane discussed penguins and architecture in a paper called ‘Penguins of the Global South Unite!’. Oupa Sibeko closed off the conference with a video rendering of his performance called ‘The Inland Sea’.
PERFORMANCE: BLACK IS BLUE
Oupa Sibeko, artist and Oceanic Humanities for the Global South MA fellow will be performing 'Black is Blue' at the Point of Order, Corner Bertha & Stiemens Streets Johannesburg on 23 and 24 August 2019, at 18.30.