Houses of Movements

About the Programme: 

One of the key challenges facing social movements today is how to mobilise resources needed in the struggle for social and economic justice. These resources are many and varied, and range from access to IT, meeting spaces, learning resources of various kinds, printing and publishing resources, and so on.

Within the College’s primary mission of providing support to the social movements and the communities within they operate, the College undertakes a number of initiatives aimed at facilitating social movements’ access to these resources. Khanya College has entered into a partnership with the Workers Library and Museum with the aim of providing these resources.

As part of the College's commitment to operate democratically, accountably and efficiently, this programme seeks to create a transparent and efficient administration within the College. The programme seeks to create a stable resource and infrastructure base so that the various programmes the College offers to our primary constituencies can be delivered effectively.

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In 2006, Khanya College purchased premises with the aim of providing infrastructure and resources for movements. The facilities that are provided at the premises are primarily used by communities, social movements, trade unions and other civil society formations.

The main facilities that are provided at the building are:

  • Conference and Workshop facilities
  • Resources Centre and Library
  • Computer Lab
  • Audio-visual viewing room
  • An archive for social movements and civil society
  • Printing facilities
  • Board Rooms and Meeting Rooms
  • IT Room – Hub and Servers
  • Office space for Khanya, social movements and NGOs
  • A fully functioning theatre
  • Rehearsal rooms
  • Exhibition and Performance space for cultural events

A number of additional facilities are planned, including a Coffee Shop and a Book Shop.

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Resource and Internet Centre

The resource centre incorporates the Internet centre and provides activists with access to information and to publications that will help them build their understanding of current developments, the history of movement building initiatives from around the world, and enhance their skills in a number of areas.

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The Resources Centre also stores and facilitates access to books, pamphlets, audio and audio-visual materials which deal with issues relevant to the concerns of the social movements. An important strategic objective of Khanya is to provide a number of movement building infrastructure services to support the building of the social justice movement. 

The objectives of the Project are to:

  1. Make information available to activists in the social movements and to the wider public
  2. Provide Internet access to activists in the social justice movement

Activities:

  • A resource centre open to the public
  • An Internet centre
  • Community outreach to promote the Resource and Internet centres
  • Computer and Media training

The Internet and Resource Centre is located in the 6th Floor of the
House of Movements, 123 Pritchard Street, opening hours are
Mon-Fri from 9am to 4pm.

For more information please contact:

Timothy Mkhari (Internet Centre)
Phone: 011-336 9190 (ext 125)
E-mail: timothy.mkhari_at_khanyacollege.org.za

Menzi Mbonambi (Resource Centre)
Phone: 011-336 9190 (ext 127)
E-mail: menzi.Mbonambi_at_khanyacollege.org.za
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Afrika Writers Forum – Khanya Resource Center Platform for Writers and Readers

Afrika Writers Forum

Afrika Writers Forum was founded as a platform for writers and readers at Khanya College Resource Centre in May 2009. The Forum started with informal meetings of writers and artists from Zimbabwe, Congo, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa at the library in the sixth floor of the House of Movement, 123 Pritchard Street in Johannesburg. The Forum is a platform where writers can discuss and proliferate their skills in the art of writing and find ways how to publish their texts. The writers meet on Wednesdays and Fridays from 14–16h in the library of the House of Movements, discussing various issues concerning writing, editing and publishing their writings.
 
To access the blog of the Afrika Writers Forum click here
 
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Khanya Resource Center Platform for Writers and Readers
The central task of the Resource Centre is to provide movement building infrastructure services to support the building of the social justice movement. Apart from the central function of storing books and facilitating access to printed and audio-visual materials, it is a task of Khanya’s Resource Centre to provide spaces for platforms and groups to constitute themselves and pursue their progressive interests, which are aligned to the College's key aims. These platforms are devised to partake in and contribute to the aims of Khanya College’s programmes and projects and geared towards assisting various constituencies within working class and poor communities to respond to the challenges posed by the forces of economic and political globalisation. While the Resource Centre provides the basic services of access to knowledge and information, it also aims to activate these resources through writing workshops, training journalistic techniques as well as creative writing, but also facilitating sessions about text editing, publishing and distribution of publications.

Discussing challenges for independent publishers
The formation of the AWF is a response to the challenge of the crisis which social justice movements are facing. It aims to find creative ways of revealing the importance of writing and publishing for contemporary society. To achieve that, it focuses on building platforms for discussion, the support of anti-xenophobia work and the facilitation of literacy and reading programmes.
The Forum invites writers from all parts of Africa to address the question of writing in exile, the forces that drive writers to work away from home. Moreover, the Forum focuses on various questions which are pertinent to the neo-colonial situation in African countries, ranging from the significance of language used in writing – European or African – to the task of promoting writing and publishing in indigenous languages. The Forum addresses crucial questions, such as:

Making publishing possible: Guerrilla Publishing
The AWF devised the concept of Guerrilla Publishing as a means to empower the writers to deal with the lack of funding for publications in South Africa today and as a strategy to make self-publishing possible. The Forum decided to focus on what is possible, and to concentrate on ways how to face the difficulties of self-publishing. Therefore, the writers engage in a constant process of finding new and inventive ways of making publishing possible by using available resources and their talent as writers. Furthermore, the basic demand “I publish what I like” is set to work by two fundamental principles, reciprocity and solidarity. For instance, a voluntary donation based publishing fund has been established, allowing for the publication of members’ works, even if they do not have any financial means. Apart from that, the AWF members support the visibility and distribution of each other’s work, as well as invite other creatives who do not have access to avenues representation to participate and co-operate in the activities of the Forum.

  • How can we encourage a growing number of artists to write and publish literature and poetry in indigenous language and vernacular?
  • How can we make independent publications accessible to a growing audience?
  • How can we improve access to independent publications – in print and online?
  • How can we invent and create new and different ways to inspire the validation and appreciation of independent publications?
  • How can we encourage the youth to read independent publications?

Projects of the Afrika Writers Forum
As part of the Resource Centre’s outreach programme, the Forum has launched a number of projects which aim at conveying the importance of reading and writing to the youth as well as conscientising around issues fighting against xenophobia, promoting gender equality and a social justice agenda.
As the AWF has recognised the significance of writing for education, its members are engaged in a number of different education projects:

  • Martin Gwete works at different high schools as a part time teacher;
  • Several of the writers are teaching ABET at the Methodist church, they also organised writing courses staged a theatre play with young people at the church;
  • Menzi Mbonami, founder of the Afrika Writers forum, has approached the Department of Education and various primary schools with the proposal that members of the Forum would teach writing at primary schools. The Cheikh Anta Diop primary school in Yeoville has accepted this offer, and members of the AWF have started to teach writing classes and to facilitate anti-xenophobia workshops for the pupils;
  • Ruyedzo Mutizwa has published the book “Gukurahundi Ideology. Why Zimbabwe is in crisis”;
  • Toto Mubenga has published the collection of poems “The Light Answer To Revelation” with reUnitedSiblings;
  • Mshengo Tshabalala is currently involved in research about African family trees. He founded a initiative which draws on the common heritage of southern African countries in order to promote anti-xenophobia work;
  • The AWF also engages in networking with other organisations. Some of the writers are engaged in long term projects. Thompson Charlie is currently working with Khulumani Support Group in Soweto;
  • Other initiatives include a collaborating with other libraries, Book Shops (Xarra Books) and writing centres (Wits Writing Centre);
  • Currently the AWF is preparing the publication of an anthology of poetry and short stories, entitled “African Writers Echoing in Exile”. It will be presented at the Jozi Book Fair in 2010 along with other publications and the first two issues of the Forum’s newsletter;
  • AWF members also participate in the media team of Khanya Winter School in2010, writing for IMBILA YESU, the newsletter of the education festival, and facilitate the Media Skills Workshop.

Purpose and aims of the AWF
The AWF invites its members to embark in a process to find affirmative ways to approach their burden of creatively transforming their experiences in South and southern African society today and to identify other and creative approaches how to perceive their role as writers and chroniclers of the dispossessed and disadvantaged, as poets and artists in the complex realities of residents and migrants in Johannesburg and Gauteng. To achieve that, the AWF is devised as a democratic space for writers and artists to tell the untold stories of their life time, their memories and histories, their wishes and imaginations. Their life and work mirrors the social and economic condition of many people who live in this vastly populated area of Gauteng, between township, Central Business District and refugee camp. Their works disclose realities of the multitude with the aim of sharing a message of solidarity and collective endeavour, resembling a solitary island in the middle of contemporary life which is geared towards profit and the proliferation of individualism. Their ears on the ground, the writers listen to the struggles of vulnerable classes, about the life and trade in the streets of Johannesburg, from the daily toil of street vendors, the precarious labour of temporarily employed workers, exposed to labour brokers or the whims and traps of the border regime of southern African countries. Using the transformative power of their words, the writers aim to conscientise, mobilise and to educate, sharing the dream of writers as visionary resource of the people and of promoting human values that will providing the hope of a brighter future for African artists.

Topics and Vision
A central concern of the AWF is to raise pertinent social justice issues like Anti-Xenophobia, racial and gender discrimination and the struggle of vulnerable classes. Through its writings the forum aims to educate communities about the need to fight for social justice and about the need to respect other people, regardless of their religion, gender or race, thus creating an awareness about African unity. The works of the AWF aim to benefit the masses who are dwelling in the streets and living in shanty towns of the African continent. The Forum unites the voices of the African writers who are scattered and engages its participants in a process to refine their skill of writing, to find platforms for discussion, exchange and education.
The Forum’s vision builds on what the writers and artists inherited from their ancestors who started the struggle towards uniting and educating Africa in a way that Africans understand and in a way that things are relevant to them. It invites artists and writers to break down the borders between the different arts and to unite the creative energies to spread the message of an African humanity to all the children of Mother Africa.
 

 

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Zabalaza Conference Centre & Theatre

The Zabalaza Theatre is a fully equipped theatre able to seat 150 people. Its foyer area gives ample space for the audience before a staging and during breaks. A kitchen area offers room to prepare catering. The theatre also hosts three rehearsal rooms of varying size. Theatre and rehearsal rooms are available for hire by professional and community based cultural groups.

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The Zabalaza Theatre is located in the 7th Floor of the House of Movements, 123 Pritchard Street.

For bookings and more information please contact:

Dieketseng Melato
Phone: 011-336 9190 (ext 112)
Fax: 011-336 9196
Cell: 082 710 4077
E-mail: dieketseng.melato_at_khanyacollege.org.za

Zabalaza Conference Centre

The Zabalaza Conference Centre consists of two large conference rooms, seating up to 100 people each, and a smaller room, which seats about 50. The rooms are light and airy, and are equally suited to lecture-room formation, group discussions or use as exhibition space. Overhead projectors, flip charts, a TV, VCR and other standard conference facilities - like heaters for those chilly Johannesburg winters – are available for organisations using the facilities. Photocopying, phone and fax facilities are available on request. The ZCC is able to offer catering, and with prior arrangement can facilitate accommodation for participants.

The Zabalaza Conference Centre is located in the 2nd Floor of the
House of Movements, 123 Pritchard Street.

For bookings and more information please contact:

Faseegha Rahim
Phone: 011-336 9190
Fax: 011-336 9196
Cell: 082 710 4077
E-mail: faseegha.rahim_at_khanyacollege.org.za
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