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AFDA Durban, Open Assembly Term 3 2016 speech, by Dean, Franco Human

July 18, 2016 12:53 pm

Welcome to Term 3, it sure has been quiet without you here so having you back is most definitely welcome.

We are officially half way through the year.  You have 1 more semester and the year is over.  Well done on achieving yet another good pass rate with a high standard of work and quality submitted over the last term.  For those who did not pass you had the opportunity to catch up these credits during winterschool last week, I hope you took that opportunity.

This term seeks to be more challenging than the rest.  1st years in the BA degrees now change disciplines and possibly schools into a new set of subjects to achieve and obtain a new set of skills to learn.  2nd years are put into challenge teams to push boundaries and where working relationships will be tested.  3rd years embark into their graduation cycle and into their final productions for the year to be examined by a paying audience and not by us.  Our Hons students enter into the post production of their productions and the start to their stage productions to be presented at a festival.  In the school of BIT, the BComm continue to innovate new business ideas with a link to the BA programme specifically into the business of music and we continue this term to prepare for the arrival of the BCT degree (Bachelor in Computer Technology) to be presented next year along with our new higher certificate courses.

Being the best is a difficult thing to maintain and achieve, before I let you know about the changes and updates since you have been away, let me remind you that hard work and perseverance comes from you.  The desire to complete and strive to be the best comes from your attitude and your thoughts.  Through your thoughts your actions are achieved and the results are proved through what you do.  Remember it is not what you have that makes you who you are but it is how you work with it and make it the best it can be that defines you.  Stay positive and clear headed, focus on your goals and the end of the year will be here faster than you can imagine and soon after that you will be grarduating with a degree joining in the very small percentage of graduates in South Africa making you more employable than many others.  Remember this and remember to communicate with your lecturers, heads of school, registrar as well as myself if you have any pressing issues that are not resolved by CLVA.  My door is always open, speak to us and we will help you as best we can but above all keep us informed at all times…especially if you are unable to deliver your work, follow the course guidelines and apply in advance for an extension, if you are not sure on how to reference academically meet with staff to help you.  You have everything that you need in order to achieve a very high standard of work, the onus lies on YOU!

Keep your ethical values in check, work together and not against each other.  Be part of a team, arrive for rehearsals, stick to schedules, be punctual and most of all respect each other…especially when it comes to your projects which are your exams.

First and foremost, following our annual council meeting held in Cape Town at the end of June, the AFDA institutional goal has been updated and adopted by council on the 21st June 2016.   It is:  To develop a relevant educational institution that contributes to African nation building and 1rewards all stakeholders by providing a 2stimulating, rigorous and 3globally integrated learning experience that empowers students with 4productive innovative skills, enabling graduating learners to 5grow sustainable creative industries.

Secondly, all timetables and task sheets have been uploaded onto the portal including a venue schedule.  You will note that there are only 2 weeks of the venue schedule, this is in an effort to better communicate to you about venues on a weekly basis, next week we will release week 3 of the venue schedule, the week after we will release week 4 and this is how we will move forwars as I have heard and acknowledged your concerns expressed to CLVA with regards to timetable changes.  It is very important to know that if a class is cancelled, you are to please walk straight into my office and report this immediately and how this was communicated to you.

These cancellations are not permitted to happen.  With regards to task sheets, we have heard your request via CLVA to all have the same task sheets.  This has been achieved and uploaded onto the portal.  If your discipline is not there, please come and see me or Mr O’Connor about your log in details to the portal.

Next up, all assignments excluding production course will now only be submitted online through the portal and not via email.  You have to have a cover page and plagiarism declaration attached and submit your assignments as per the requirements set out in the course guidelines.  NO EMAIL SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ALLOWED, ASSESSED or MARKED.

Forth, you will be happy to know…two new routers have been delivered and installed, the student and staff data line speed has been upgraded to 40Mbs and we have a new internet service provider.  This means in short…more, faster and better internet for you.

Fifth, while we talking about internet, you will notice certain sites have been blocked.  Its been great being able to download torrents and series etc, but this is now no longer possible.  It takes up too much data and throttles everyone’s access to the internet.  In the coming weeks social media sites will also be blocked from certain times of the day.

The nas device takes the 6th position, this is the post production server and all students and staff that need access to the server have been granted access and you will be taught in class has to access it and work with your data workflow.  You will also notice the macs have been cleaned, not with a cloth but the desktops have been cleared and you will only be able to save to your hard drives unless you have access from Ms van Niekerk.

Development and planning for the next build is underway and this is the addition of a theatre, staff offices and movement rooms for the school of live performance.  More building is coming our way and you will also see the installation of the 5.1 cinema being installed in the coming weeks.

Now for some news:

Honours students Mickey Struwig and Robyn Price won their division in their Goodbye Thai competition and  received a large cheque for  30 000 Baht.

Our honours students have worked with some of the best ad hoc’s as supervisors and lecturers such as Dr Sandra and Dr Neville Herrington, Dr Miranda Young, Dr Emma Durden, Dr Mikhail Peppas, Elle Matthews, Peter Matthews.

Mr Tomaselli is currently at comic con and will be exhibiting his motion book “Labyrinth of Lacuna” work on Wednesday.  The comic con Comic Arts conference starts on the weekend where his is an attendee and will be presenting research on his PhD.  After that he is off to Leicaster where he will attend the IAMCR conference to present his paper.

Mr Sirkosoon now has his own talk show on megazone radio called “Innovation and the future with LX SETH” on Wednesdays from 1-2pm.

Welcome back to the staff and we welcome new staff that are starting this term.  In the School of Live Performance we see the addition of Mr Roel Twijinsa as the head of the school, Roel Twijinstra is a theatre director, dramaturge, drama lecturer and writer. After studying at the university of Nijmegen and Amsterdam, (He holds a MSc in Biology) he started his carrier as an assistant of Peter Brook in 1975 and assisted later Peter Stein in Berlin. He was the artistic director of “Het Waterhuis”and the CEO of “Theatre company Siberia”, both in Rotterdam. Since 1996 he managed several international exchange projects between The Netherlands, USA, Russia, Morocco, Nepal and South-Africa. He lectured at the drama department of UKZN and currently he is directing in SA and working for TWIST projects. In the summer of 2012 his first novel was launched “Zulu crush.”  In 2014 he started together with Jerry Pooe his production company ” Thambo Theatre Producers” to adapt African novels for stage.  He is also the co-author with Emma Durden of two books, “Theatre directing in South Afria” and “Theatre Production in South Africa”.  [Clap].

We welcome Jess Harrison and Sbonelo who will be teaching performance with Roel.  We also welcome back Erina and Lisa who will be teaching 1st year LP for the semester.

We welcome the new ad hoc staff in the school of film and Ms Tash Reddy in the producing department.

With all of that, welcome back, I trust you have had a good break and you are ready to tackle this term head on with passion, integrity and hard work.  Have an amazing third term.


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