Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Ubuntu manifest : decolonising research & curatorial practice in ceramics
Author: Gers, Wendy Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 2888
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis is concerned with engendering new knowledge in the understanding, appreciation, and experience of modern and contemporary ceramics. It focusses on two recent creative outputs. The initial, Scorched Earth: 100 Years of Southern African Potteries (2016), is a scholarly publication, and the latter, Post-colonialism? (2016/2017), is a socially-engaged international exhibition, held at the Benyamini Contemporary Centre in Tel Aviv, Israel. These research projects span different disciplines, including art and design history, worker's history, post-colonial and curatorial studies. They engage with diverse research methods, including critical scholarship and curatorial research. In spite of their different origins, these projects are unified by a specific geo-political and ideological trope - settler colonialism - and a self-reflexive socially engaged methodology, ubuntu. Responding to the dearth of critical scholarship on commercial, popular, and tourist ceramics on the African sub-continent, Scorched Earth surveys 32 potteries located in South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, and Lesotho that produced industrial artware between 1880 and 1980. This is the first substantial scholarly reference text in this field and has produced ongoing changes in both South African museum collection policies, exhibition practices, and alterations in the art market. Post-colonialism? explored settler colonialism in a political environment characterised by ongoing oppression and gross human rights abuse. The exhibition spoke out against the occupation of Palestine and other annexed territories. As the first major politically-engaged international ceramics exhibition in Israel, it has contributed significantly to the local ceramics scene and has been recognised as one of the ten most significant Israeli exhibitions of 2017. The project has also been the subject of international debate about art practices in Israel, the cultural boycott, and contemporary socially engaged ceramics practices. This thesis surveys decolonising research in art and curatorial practice with specific reference to Israel and South Africa; regions characterised by harsh settler colonial regimes. It presents ubuntu as a moral philosophy and component of self-reflexive methodology for research and curatorial projects. The term cryrator is advanced as constituting a component of curatorial praxis in conflict zones. The thesis encourages new ways of thinking on how to historicise, de-westernise, and decolonise knowledge.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available