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‘Seats of Knowledge’ – an auction of Interpretations of Chairs – to raise funds and enhance UJ’s eLearning experience

Defining itself as a 21st century institution of higher learning, University of Johannesburg (UJ) has placed itself at the epicentre of creativity and innovation in eLearning. Blended learning, access to electronic journals and databases, joining the open access community and most importantly an integrated learning experience for its students are all examples of the new normal at UJ on a continuing journey towards creating the future of learning here.

Amongst it key projects is becoming one of the world’s major repositories of digital material emanating from Africa or that is related to Africa.

A crucial node of this enterprise is UJ’s Library and Information Centre.

It will host an online auction, ‘Seats of Knowledge’ on the 22nd of August 2016 to support its complete refurbishment as a digital information centre and to develop the repository of e-materials about Africa. This will allow UJ to entrench itself as an international epicenter of Pan African critical thought and intellectual inquiry.

‘Seats of Knowledge’ is an exciting event with food and music and at which artistic works by 29 leading architects, artists, sculptors and contemporary designers will be on display. Bookings for this prestigious event are essential. Only a few key pieces will be auctioned on the night of the event and the rest will be auctioned online, thereafter.

All of the works can be viewed ahead of the event on the ‘Seats of Knowledge’ website ( from Thursday, 11 August 2016. Once the event has taken place we welcome you to bid on the rest of the pieces from the 23rd of August until mid-September.

These artworks – interpretations of chairs – include contributions from well-known artists such as Gordon Froud, Lehlohonolo Mkhasibe, Guy du Toit, Boitumelo Mazibuko, Craig Muller, John Yannis Generalis, Melissa Generalis, Eric du Plan, Sybrand Wiechers, Lothar Bottcher, Izanne Wiid, Sally Rumball, Ana Pather, Annali Dempsey, Heather Cunningham and Gregory James.

Furthermore through a partnership with the National School of the Arts, a further 70 art pieces by young, up-and-coming artists, will be available on ‘Seats of Knowledge’ .

Speaking about the event, Dr Rookaya Bawa, the Executive Director of UJ’s Library and Information Centre, said “when people invest in these ‘artworks’ they are buying into one of the largest electronic libraries on the continent. This initiative will expand the capacity of the library as a hub for the creation, organisation and sharing of knowledge.”

“One of the most striking changes in academic libraries, globally, is the way in which library space is re-imagined and re-purposed. The University’s Library and Information Centre has done precisely this. UJ’s technology infrastructure is comparable to the best in the world,” she said.

Dr Bawa concludes: “UJ is creating a generation of globally connected and fully enabled global citizens. Moreover, it is serving the needs of an adaptable, sustainable, knowledge-based economy which plays a major role in nurturing a democratic, diverse, and inclusive society.”

UJ invites individuals over the age of 18 to register and participate in the online auction which will allow you the chance to be a proud owner of a unique piece of South African art and an investor in the future of UJ’s student body.

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