Students as agents of change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


One of the essential challenges facing South Africans in building a democratic society is to move from redress through reconciliation to deeper transformational change. How one deepens surface structure by imagination and vision to ensure meaningful and enduring change is the focus of this article. The pressing need in higher education for a substantive discussion about the role of universities in nation-building and in developing citizenship in the visual arts must be expanded to make research relevant, inclusive and collaborative. The author considers the question of what an African research and paradigm for the arts would mean and how the University of Johannesburg's visual arts students' participation in three examples of alternative spaces-Phumani Paper, Artist Proof Studio and a rural site in HaMakuya, Limpopo Province-has created enabling environments for students to see themselves as change agents and as navigators towards a democratic society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-399
Number of pages13
JournalThird Text
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


  • Amartya Sen
  • Arjun Appadurai
  • Claudia Hartwig
  • HaMakuya
  • Kim Berman
  • Laying Ghosts to Rest
  • Participatory Action Research
  • arts-based interventions
  • change-agent
  • community engagement
  • transformational change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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