Announcement of World Summit keynote speakers

04 Junio 2009, South Africa

IFACCA and the National Arts Council of South Africa are delighted to announce the first keynote speakers for the 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture: Professor Njabulo S Ndebele, Dr Stojan Pelko, and Madeeha Gauhar.

Professor Njabulo S Ndebele is an academic and author. He was Vice-Chancellor of President of the University of Cape Town, following tenure as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Ford Foundation in New York.  Earlier positions include Vice-Chancellor of the University of the North; Vice-Rector of the University of the Western Cape; Chair and Head of the Department of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand; Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Dean, and Head of the English Department at the National University of Lesotho. He is a graduate of Lesotho, Cambridge, and Denver. He has served as Chair of the South African Universities Vice-Chancellor’s Association, founding Chair of the Southern African Regional Universities Association, and until May 2009 President of the Association of African Universities. He is the author of “Fools and Other Stories” (1983),  which won the Noma Award for the best book published in Africa in 1983, and the novel The Cry of Winnie Mandela (2003) published to critical acclaim.   His highly influential essays on South Africa literature and culture are collected in Rediscovery of the Ordinary (1991, 2006) and Fine Lines from the Box: further thoughts about our country (2007) which won the k. Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award. He holds honorary doctorates from Universities in the Netherlands, Japan, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  He is an Honorary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the University of Cape Town.

Dr Stojan Pelko is the State Secretary for Culture: Republic of Slovenia. He is a film publicist, essay writer and former editor-in-chief of the film monthly Ekran (1990-1995). As an Assistant at the Department of Sociology of Culture at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana he has been lecturing  on two optional subjects, sociology of the cinema and critical analysis of media cases. He has a master’s degree in philosophy, a D.E.A. (diplome d’études approfondies) in audiovisual research (Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris III) and a doctorate in social sciences (with the doctoral thesis Podoba misli [The image of thoughts]. From 2000 to 2005 he was President of the Supervisory Board of the Film Fund of the Republic of Slovenia and a member of the Council for Culture set up within the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. In 2003 and 2004, he represented Slovenia as an independent expert in the Media Plus Committee of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture.

Madeeha Gauhar has a Masters in English Literature from the Government College Lahore, 1979 and a Masters in Theatre Studies from the University of London, 1985. Her thesis was on "The Western Influences on the Theatre of the Subcontinent". In 1983 she founded Ajoka, a theatre group committed to socially meaningful theatre, which pioneered the alternative productions movement in Pakistan. Ajoka has performed all over Pakistan and abroad and remains the leading and most prolific of all theatre groups in Pakistan. Gauhar has conducted theatre training workshops in different parts of Pakistan for community, women minority rights activists and children. She was among the founders of Women’s Action Forum in 1983 and has ceaselessly campaigned for the repeal of discriminatory laws against women and minorities. She lost her lecturers job in a Government College and was sent to prison for such activities.

Further speaker announcements will be made in coming weeks. Delegate registration is now open at, and early bird rates are available until 30 June. Chair of the National Arts Council of South Africa, Adv. Brenda Madumise, warmly welcomes prospective delegates to the Summit.  The video is available here.

The Summit will be co-hosted by the National Arts Council of South Africa and IFACCA, with the support of the South African Department of Arts and Culture, the Gauteng Provincial Government, Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation and the City of Joburg: Directorate of Arts, Culture and Heritage and the Johannesburg Tourism Company.