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14 June 2021
UWC Breaking Ground at Greatmore - Launch Invitation
With refurbishment well underway on Greatmore, this former derelict school building in Woodstock, Cape Town, is set to become the first arts and humanities research hub in the city for the University of the Western Cape’s Centre for Humanities Research (CHR).

Greatmore, supported through the DSI-NRF Flagship and the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), is envisioned as a nexus for youth mobility that will soon open its doors to artists, scholars, communities, and collaborators across the urban, peri-urban, and rural, as well as internationally.

UWC’s new footprint in the city is a significant step in breaking through the spatial and intellectual circumscriptions of apartheid for a university that had once been denied arts education. The CHR at UWC has been committed to developing a public arts programme and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and scholarship between scholars and artists. In the past five years alone, the CHR Flagship has supported 78 graduates across the humanities, and social sciences at UWC and is host to a cohort of DSI-NRF Early Career Doctoral Fellows, Next Generation Scholars, and artists in residence.

As 2021 has been declared “The year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke,” we are excited to share that CHR artists Ukwanda Puppets and Designs Art Collective and Buhle Ngaba, with the CHR’s Itumeleng Wa-Lehulere, Aja Marneweck, and Professor Jane Taylor, are working with Thozama April on a puppetry production of the life of Charlotte Maxeke.

Greatmore, sitting on a road that marked the edge of a designated white area, and a short distance from UWC’s main campus, represents a new horizon where the next generation of arts and humanities scholars and practitioners can flourish.

After five years of implementation, Greatmore is taking shape to meet the needs of UWC and the CHR’s Flagship commitments to, and graduate fellowship programmes in, the public humanities. Greatmore will also be the site of several international partnerships in support of the Flagship’s dedication to building national, African, and international scholarly and research networks.

In celebration of Greatmore, UWC will stream a virtual sod-turning ceremony live on Tuesday, 15 June 2021 from 11:00. Special guest speakers include UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Tyrone Pretorius, Nathan Sassman (Director: Centres of Excellence and Flagship Programme, NRF), Professor Monwabisi Ralarala (Dean: Faculty of Arts and Humanities, UWC), CHR Director Heide Grunebaum, and Greatmore architects Ilze and Heinrich Wolff.