Romancing the Stone: Lithic Ecologies & Hard Places in South African Visual Culture [Breaking Rock]
"The Durban University of Technology is engaged in a lithic position, between a rock and a hard place – emerging out of the technical college’s system into a contemporary institute of higher learning.
There are many rocky outcrops to negotiate: the challenging balance of technology and theory. Funders, faculty members and students may view Universities of Technology with a suspicion tainted by the light of past edifices, academic prejudices; and decolonisation.
The metaphor of romancing the stone is an apt one for the development of Universities of Technology; it is also a warning to be vigilant of the prism of romancing - using cultural and gendered lenses which obscure a clear view of new, surprising, and transitionary identities.
How can the metaphor of romancing the stone assist us in navigating the rocky, harder places in South Africa’s visual culture?