The process of reimagining the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Jagger Library that required input from various stakeholders, including members of the public, has now been concluded. The work will be on display in the Molly Blackburn Hall on upper campus on Thursday, 28 July.
Facilitated by UCT’s Futures Think Tank, the exhibition will showcase a series of 30 posters that encompass participants’ thoughts and ideas on a restored Jagger Library. The work has been designed by Cindy Yeh and Chi Chi Xu and has been described as an amalgamation of the community’s creative contributions.
“Our programmes were designed to recognise the immense loss that the fire caused, as well as pivot to the various opportunities.”
It consists of a composite of sketches, sculptures and works that stakeholders have shared during the public participation and consultation processes which formed part of a series of creative workshops. A range of original drawings, illustrated by several contributors, will also be on display. The historic Jagger Library was gutted in a devastating Table Mountain fire in April 2021. The library was home to the African Studies collection, started in 1953, as well as other collections: journals, ephemera, manuscripts, film and video, maps and rare antiquarian books.
A six-month process
Over the past six months, the Futures Think Tank has partnered with more than 300 stakeholders, including primary school learners, university students, academics and members of the public to get their ideas and suggestions on what the restored library should look like. Involving the public in this restoration process closely aligns with UCT’s Vision 2030, which envisions a more inclusive university.
“Our programmes were designed to recognise the immense loss that the fire caused, as well as pivot to the various opportunities for resultant growth,” said project manager, Dr Heeten Bhagat. “We worked through the mechanisms of UCT’s Vision 2030 to design creative experiments to make evident UCT’s intentions towards decolonisation.”
Following the exhibition, the posters will be mounted on the hoarding around what currently surrounds the Jagger Library site to act as inspiration for the next phase of the rebuilding project.
The display will take place between 13:00 and 14:30 and members of the campus community are welcome to attend.
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