Clanwilliam project nets second Pifer Award

31 March 2008

Community of disciplines: Winners of the 2007 Alan Pifer Research Award, Prof Pippa Skotnes and Assoc Prof Mark Fleishman, with the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Njabulo S Ndebele.

The Living Landscapes Project in the Clanwilliam area has won its second Alan Pifer Research Award, made annually to one or more scholars whose work contributes to the welfare and advancement of disadvantaged South Africans.

The 2007 award went to Associate Professor Mark Fleishman of the Department of Drama and Professor Pippa Skotnes of the School of Fine Art for their interdisciplinary Living Landscapes project, bringing local history, drama, art and the richness of the Bleek Lloyd archive to the local Clanwilliam community.

The project's value also lies in the fact that it aims to return the heritage of Clanwilliam and surrounds, an historically and archaeologically rich area, to the community, to be cherished and sustained for future generations.

In 1999 Professor John Parkington of the Department of Archaeology won the Pifer Award for his contribution to the Living Landscapes enterprise.

The Living Landscapes venture started in the mid-1990s, offering art workshops to fewer than 100 pupils annually. As the workshops expanded, hundreds of children arrived each year. By 2001 the community's expectations had grown to such an extent that Skotnes invited Fleishman to join the project.

An average of 500 children complete the week-long workshop each year.

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