Mozambiquan institution forges ties with Arts Faculty

by Gerrit Bester

26 May 2022

A five-member delegation from the Escola Nacional de Artes Visuais (National Visual Art School) (ENAV) in Mozambique is visiting the Faculty of Arts and Design this week because of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at forging closer ties between the two institutions.

Photographed during a tour of the Faculty of Arts and Design on Monday, 23 May, are delegates from the Escola Nacional de Artes Visuais (National Visual Art School) (ENAV) in Mozambique (from left to right): Inacio Monjane (Head of the Fine Art Department), Clelestino Mondlane (Pedagogical Director and Head of the Ceramic Department), Pedro Tuco Tuco (Lecturer), Moises Sambo (Head of the Graphic Design Department), and Gracinda Cumbe (Head of the Textile Department).

The proposed MoU stems from a visit by senior TUT staff members, among others Prof Nalini Moodley-Diar, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design, to Mozambique in 2019 during which collaboration between the two institutions was discussed.

The MoU will relate to academic collaboration and exchanges in the fields of Fashion Design, Fine and Studio Arts, and Integrated Communication Design. 

Elaborating on the MoU, Prof Moodley-Diar says it will enable students and staff to further their postgraduate studies or parts thereof at either institution, and the exchange of staff as guest lecturers in their fields of specialisation. She adds that the MoU will also include the exchange of researchers and promotion of joint research projects, among others.

At the meeting, Pedro Tuco Tuco from ENAV provided an overview of the institution’s interesting history, saying that it was the brainchild of former Mozambiquan President, Samora Machel, who was resolute to establish an entity to train people in arts and culture. 

“Initially, the institution was called the Centre for African Studies, focusing mainly on Ceramics, Graphic Design, and Textiles, but seven years after the country’s independence, President Machel approached international experts to help establish the institution and train its staff abroad,” Tuco Tuco added.

The ENAV, which has approximately 200 enrolled students, was officially established in 1992 when new courses were added to the programme mix. The institution’s alumni are mostly self-employed, and it has a strong community outreach focus.

Although the two institutions differ, mainly in terms of infrastructure, there are also similarities. 

To this end, Prof Chats Devroop, Research Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Design, says “it will be a wonderful experience to try to interface.” 

“We are all part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and should try to work together more to grow the region,” he stresses.

Prof Devroop adds that, in terms of the decolonisation of the curriculum, TUT can also turn to the ENAV for guidance, since it has gone through this process (decolonisation) before.

Kedisaletse Mahlangu, TUT’s Head of International Partnerships, says her environment will study the proposed MoU and investigate its possibilities for collaboration before it is formalised.

During the week, delegates also attended classes to see TUT’s lecturing staff and students in action and undertook a tour of the Campus.

The Mozambiquan delegation with staff members of the Faculty of Arts and Design.

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