During the DIS_SEMINAR exposium of the platform, we met one of the driving forces behind the Art Research Africa network Vincent Orlando. In January they’ll organise an ARA conference with the theme “How does artistic research decolonize knowledge and practice in Africa?” in Johannesburg.

Keynote speaker is Michael Schwab. His keynote will be followed by an opening performance by Nhlanhla Mahlangu.

There’s the intention for collaboration between ARA and Kunst Onderzoek by for instance sharing the documentation and insights of our activities.

More information on the website of the organizers.

This Conference invites contributions from international practitioners as well as African practitioners to initiate a dialogue over modes of artistic research appropriate to the African context.

Internationally, there now exists a reasonable body of research outputs in the field of Artistic Research, generated mainly by artists and researchers active in Europe, Australia and Great Britain. However Artistic Research has not secured a significant position within most African university systems. The integration in Artistic Research of theoretical and practical knowledge (episteme and phronesis, in Aristotelian terms) poses a challenge to the Cartesian division of these modes of knowledge. This separation, fundamental to much of Western philosophy, features far less in African philosophy and world views, where notions of holism are generally accepted as axiomatic. This suggests particular potential for Artistic Research to be approached within contexts of African philosophy and thinking.


Against this background, Arts Research Africa (ARA) and the Wits School of Arts, at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa invite submissions to an international Conference on Artistic Research, the first of its kind to be hosted on the African continent.

The Wits School of Arts Johannesburg, Zuid-Afrika

Art Research Africa (ARA) Conference

22.01.2020—24.01.2020 • 17h00—18h00