Potent symbolism

13 April 2015

Assoc Prof Tom Moultrie
Academics' Union

"The statue has no place in its current position on campus. It is an insensitive and hurtful reminder to hundreds of students and staff who pass it every day. University governance structures (the executive and Council, particularly) should take the lead and declare their support for the statue to be removed.

"While the logistics and processes associated with this are resolved (and this may take some time), it would be fitting to render the statue invisible.

"In addition to its potent symbolism in its own right, the statue raises further – more difficult – questions about transformation at UCT. We need to understand why the process has been so slow, and why so many initiatives would appear to have failed. Is it through lack of commitment, or an inability to comprehend the full magnitude of the transformation challenge facing the institution?

"The statue has opened the space for serious engagement about issues facing academics in the institution: what are the delineations of institutional discrimination at UCT? How do we recast syllabi and curricula to enhance their relevance in contemporary South Africa? Are there invisible barriers to academic advancement?

"The #RhodesMustFall campaign has catalysed these, and myriad other debates across the university. This is surely for the good of the institution."

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Monday Monthly

Volume 34 Edition 03

13 Apr 2015

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