Dr Kira Erwin is an urban sociologist and senior researcher, at the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology. Her research and publications focus largely on race, racialisation, racism and anti-racism work within the urban context. Her past projects explore narratives of home and belonging within the context of migration, gender and inclusion; as well as state delivered housing projects in the city. She is currently working on Lalela uLwandle with a team of researchers and civil society organisations to think through how people’s economic, spiritual, scientific and symbolic meanings of the sea should be part of ocean governance decisions. Her projects make use of creative participatory methods, and she collaborates with colleagues in various creative fields to produce forms of public storytelling that extend research beyond the walls of academia.
Wura-Natasha Ogunji is a visual artist and performer. Her works include drawings hand-stitched into tracing paper, videos and public performances. Her work is deeply inspired by the daily interactions and frequencies that occur in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, from the epic to the intimate. Ogunji’s performances explore the presence of women in public space; these often include investigations of labor, leisure, freedom and frivolity.
Harold Offeh is an artist working in a range of media including performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice. Offeh, often employs humour as a means to confront the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture and is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of history.
Visualogical is both an interactive digital art workshop and a novel system of social investigation, developed by artist Victoria Westerman and curator Natasha Gertler.
By harnessing the power of group collaboration and artificial intelligence, Visualogical hacks into the visual subconscious of participants and allows them to illustrate it with regards to a chosen theme.
“My work mainly depends on – and is influenced by – everyday life: the political, social and cultural events that occur and change our ideas and perception of the world around us. Wars, social injustice, natural catastrophes have marked people, reshaped regions – the fragility of human existence.”
Alexandra Dementieva main interests focus on social psychology and perception and their application in multimedia interactive installations. Her videowork integrates different elements including behavioral psychology, developing narrative using a ‘subjective camera’.
“For me, the swarming process is a metaphor for the journey towards achieving a collective identity. A ritual for social cohesion. The swarm must unite as a colony if they want to survive.”
Heloise Tunstall-Behrens, together with co-director and movement designer Roswitha Gerlitz and composer Auclair, presented her musical project ‘The Swarm’ at the Vault Festival, London in February 2017. ‘The Swarm’ uses an all-female choir to reproduce the noise of a beehive, along with an urban soundscape as a backdrop. Choral music, voice and movement merge in this avant-garde piece, which hopes to raise awareness of the endangered condition of honeybees and their importance in a city environment.