Sunday 7 July 2019


ARROWSA has a Research Portfolio led by Dr Lauren Dyll of the Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS) University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

The most recent research project that ARROWSA has assisted in took place in Lydenburg /Mashishing, Mpumalanga, South Africa. See the article below written by Dr Lauren Dyll.


The Marking Memories project is one of the projects that characterises this research and community engagement partnership. Dr Mary Lange is instrumental in the Mashishing project as an Arts, Culture and Heritage specialist, is the ARROWSA chairperson and is a CCMS Honorary lecturer. Dr Lauren Dyll is the project leader, senior lecturer at CCMS and is head of the research portfolio for ARROWSA.

On 4 June 2019 Dr Mary Lange, Nongcebo Ngcobo and Dr Lauren Dyll set out for Mpumalanga to conduct a preliminary field trip for the research project, “Marking memories: pre-industrial to contemporary, north of the Garib River and west of the Lembombo Mountains”. The project aims to operationalise indigenous knowledge systems in a diverse contemporary South African society by the inclusion of diverse African languages, and comparisons of past through to present engravings found in two different regions of South Africa.  Engravings can be considered markings of identity. In order to foreground the idea of living heritage and dynamic identities an important component of the project is to document the multivocal, intercultural readings of the local rock engravings by members of a diverse research team that includes academics, local professionals (teachers and museum staff) and local community members. 

Also of interest to the project are the ways in which people in Mashishing today, use markings for their personal or community identity. Interesting discussions emanated both from the teacher’s workshop facilitated by Dr Mary and the interviews Nongcebo conducted with Busisiwe Ngwane (a local teacher) and several museum staff. Nongcebo, who is supervised by Dr Lauren, is writing her Masters within the broader project. Her topic assesses the potentiality of participation within the Mashishing Marking Memories project from a culture-centered approach. JP Celliers, Lydenburg Museum curator, spent two days with Dr Mary, Nongcebo and Dr Lauren. They visited the museum itself, as well as the ‘Bokoni City’ that includes remnants of the Late Iron age stonewalled homesteads of the Koni people – a farming community who lived in Mpumalanga between 1500s- 1820s.

(L-R): Ngcobo , Celliers and Dr Mary speak to Busisiwe Ngwane about topics of heritage in the school curriculum. This was at the Lydenburg museum.

They also did a recce of the Boomplaats Rocks Art site that reveals direct evidence of how the Late Iron Age Bokoni farmers lived and organised their living space – many engravings depict the typical Nguni settlement patterns. Although the engravings’ authorship and subject matter is becoming clearer, its meanings and motivation for its creation remain poorly understood. Mary, Nongcebo and Dr Lauren are grateful to Lydenburg Museum staff for their warm hospitality and insightful couple of days.

Embarking on the 21 June 2019
Marking Memories Mashishing Project 
Photo by JP Celliers Photo by Mary Lange Photo by Lauren Dyll
In photo:

(L-R) Dr Lauren, Dr Mary and Ngcobo admire a large stone engraving 

Dr Lauren and Celliers at stone wall settlement

(L-R) Ngcobo, Dr Mary and Celliers in a discussion 

Further examples of ARROWSA Research Portfolio projects are included in the 2017-2018 report below written by Dr Lauren Dyll.

ARROWSA (Art, Culture & Heritage for Peace) Research Report
1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018

The following publications includes data from ARROWSA-related research projects.
Dyll, L. (2018) Indigenous environmental knowledge and challenging dualisms in development: observations from the Kalahari, Development in Practice, 28(3), 332-344. DOI: 10.1080/09614524.2018.1438368.

Lange, M.E. (2016) Marking memories: indigenous north of the ! Garib River and contemporary in Westville, South Africa, Critical Arts, 30:6, 855-876, DOI: 10.1080/02560046.2016.1263218.
Lange, M & Ngema, L. (2017) Arts as a resource for reconciliation, ARROWSA in South Africa, WUMEN BAGUNG Communication for Development and Social Change Bulletin, RMIT.

The following presentations includes data from ARROWSA-related research projects.
Dyll, L. (Nov 2017) Attended and presented a paper at the Consuming the Environment conference, at Gavle University (Sweden), “Indigenous environmental knowledge and challenging dualisms in development: two Kalahari case studies”.

Action research
Continued action research on the Palmiet Nature Reserve and Bergtheil programmes (details in other portfolio report sections)

Indra Congress / symposium preparations
Preparations for Indra Congress Research Symposium (to be held in July 2018), facilitated by Miranda Jahanger (ARROWSA/ Drama and Performance Studies).