International Visual Methods Conference Seven

Cape Town, South Africa (13.-14.12.2021), 9. April 2021.

The deadline for contributions to the seventh International Visual Methods Conference hosted by the Department of Applied Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), is now on the 9th April.  The conference is scheduled to take place from 13/14 December 2021.

CPUT would like to build on the success of the conference series with a dynamic, inclusive event in the heart of Cape Town: World Design Capital 2014 and home to some of the foremost creative industries in South Africa.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Decolonising Design’ - a pressing concern for the creative arts in the global South in general and for post-apartheid South Africa in particular. Discourses of decolonisation have gained traction in recent years, in the domain of higher education and not least in the arts and humanities. At a conceptual level, decolonisation implies a ‘dismantling’ of the dominant epistemological assumptions that have historically shaped the arts and humanities. These assumptions are often rooted in Western ideas (and ideals) of knowledge. They typically neglect perspectives and contributions from the historically disenfranchised - the Other, the colonised - and minimise the influence of scholars, designers, and artists in the Global South.

In the visual and applied arts, including design, we seek to problematise, explore, and embrace the social and cultural perspectives of those at the peripheries of Western knowledge. We therefore invite contributions that discuss or explore, in a critical manner, the following aspects:
- Ideological and ethical underpinnings of modern visual methods
- The portrayal and interpretation of cultural knowledge through visual and narrative means
- Collaborative and participatory methods that go beyond traditional design disciplines (e.g., participatory video, digital storytelling, photo elicitation)
- Underrepresented, marginalised or resurgent visual methods
- Design thinking as a decolonising practice
- Depicting ‘small/mundane stories’ in the Global South
- The role of visual methods in communicating disruption and complexity
- Construction of non-Western representational systems
- Exploring indigenous methodologies and concepts, e.g. land as pedagogy; practices of refusal

We invite contributions from various disciplines, including media theory and practice, applied arts and design (fashion, graphic, industrial, etc.), visual anthropology, architecture, communication studies, urban planning, computing and the social sciences. Contributions can be in the form of extended abstracts, panel proposals, workshop proposals, and/or proposals for visual exhibitions or physical activities. We particularly encourage creative, interactive ways of engaging online, such as digital exhibitions, online workshops, live but virtual tours, virtual public art, digital guided walks - photo safaris, digital drawing-based activities, cultural tours, and treasure hunts.

We encourage multi- and transdisciplinary contributions.

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