Statute of liberty? Transformation on our minds

13 April 2015
Photo by Michael Hammond. Design by Sean Robertson.
Photo by Michael Hammond. Design by Sean Robertson.

In the past weeks of protests, sit-ins and assemblies, the statue of Cecil John Rhodes became the lodestone for transformation debates at UCT. To add to the platforms given to students, staff and other constituencies on the issue, we asked a cross-section of the UCT community to reflect on Rhodes and other symbols in the context of transformation at the university

"The problem with the present is that all we have around us at UCT are reminders of the past; not the present, and not the future." – Shadreck Chirikure

Heritage that hurts - Assoc Prof Shadreck Chirikure, Department of Archaeology

Until the lion has its own storyteller - Dr Russell Ally, Department of Alumni and Development

White liberalism shouldn't forget - Sonwabo Ngcelwana, Academic Planning Unit

An inconvenient truth - Glenda Wildschut, Transformation Services Office

"We need a far deeper and ongoing reflection on what we consider to be knowledge worthy of valorising." – Leslie London

Knowledge worth valorising - Prof Leslie London, School of Public Health and Family Medicine

Last laugh on Rhodes - Judge Albie Sachs, Law alumnus

Heroes are temporary - Owen Kinahan, Building and Development Committee (UB&DC)

"Removing the statue will provide the illusion that we have rid ourselves of Rhodes' legacy." – Nicoli Nattrass

False mantle of radicalism - Prof Nicoli Nattrass, Centre for Social Science Research

Galvanise transformative energy - Judy Favish, Institutional Planning Department

A sustainable solution - Guy Cunliffe, Green Campus Initiative

Collective identities, shared spaces - Prof Loretta Feris, Marine Research Institute

"I have little real sense of the power of symbols. Would I feel differently if I could see?" – Reinette Popplestone

History can't be unmade - Reinette Popplestone, Disability Unit

"How do we recast syllabi and curricula to enhance their relevance in contemporary South Africa?" – Tom Moultrie

Potent symbolism - Assoc Prof Tom Moultrie, Academics' Union

A journey less travelled - Prof Mohamed Jeebhay, School of Public Health and Family Medicine

Remembering a brutal past - Prof Elke Zuern, 2014 visiting professor in the Department of Political Studies

"Berlin provides a cogent example of how painful histories can be rendered as constant acts of remembrance in the present." – Fritha Langerman

New articulation for the site - Assoc Prof Fritha Langerman, Michaelis School of Fine Art

It's not about Cecil - Zetu Makamandela–Mguqulwa, Ombud

Baggage of the past - Prof Hugh Corder, Department of Public Law

Curriculum must educate racists - Prof Andrew Nash, Department of Political Studies

The struggle of memory against forgetting - Renate Meyer, UCT Libraries' Special Collections

Listen to black voices - Asher Gamedze, UCT researcher

The politics of aesthetics - Prof Jaco Barnard-Naude Department of Private Law

Debate is a university's lifeblood - Prof Crain Soudien, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Transformation

The wee matter of Rhodes - Prof Andy Buffler, Department of Physics

Preparing for the long walk to transformation - Mary Burton, Former President of Convocation


Curated by Yusuf Omar and Helen Swingler.

Monday Monthly Read more stories from the April 2015 edition.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.

Monday Monthly

Volume 34 Edition 03

13 Apr 2015

Download PDF

Previous Editions