Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The interest runs in the family . . .


Yesterday my niece Janice Lilian Nienaber graduated first class with distinction Simon Fraser University - a public research university in British Columbia, Canada.

She also got an award for the highest academic standing in her graduating class.





Janice with father Janneman and mother Trixie.

Janice obtained a BA in Archaeology and a certificate in Cultural Resource Management.

I am even more excited about this wonderful achievement, because our interests are so similar.

Except from my PhD thesis:
My earliest memories are of myself as a toddler collecting artefacts. Nothing special or specific, just whatever I felt like keeping or having: a button, a china fragment, a doll’s hand or an empty compressed powder compact. I would ponder over who the owner might have been, the possible use of the item and the circumstances in which it might have been used. Then I would store it with vaguely related items in one of my containers. I enjoyed showing people my treasures, though they often did not share the value I saw in my prizes. These randomly selected items became part of my frequent daydreams.

Almost five decades later, I am still collecting random artefacts and pondering over them. I still store and show them to others, who still often do not see the value as I do. And still these items become useful during my frequent daydreams. Only now my artefacts are often electronic; my pondering is research; my daydreaming is reflecting; and my sharing is autoethnography. In both my professional and vocational day-to-day activities as a visual artist, visual facilitator, visual learner and visual publicist, I collect visuals: mostly photographs and sketches that interest me. I store them in one of my electronic devices. When I need to communicate by creating a painting, a lecture, a press release or an article, I reflect on my treasures.

Available at: http://etd.uovs.ac.za/cgi-bin/ETD-browse/view_etd?URN=etd-11142013-121707

BA Archaeology was my first choice of study, but the degree was not available at the university I attended, so I opted for a BA with visual culture, anthropology and history of art as mayors. Then I did a PGD in Arts and Cultural Management.