Asbury Forum Explores Global Issues – Asbury University
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April 6, 2016

Artwork showing a collage composite of a person's face
“Between the Shadow and the Light: an Exhibit Out of South Africa” is on display in Asbury’s Art Gallery April 6 through May 13.

WILMORE, Ky. — With its quiet campus and small-town charm, Asbury University’s international reach may not be visible at first glance. Don’t let appearances fool you, though — global issues are at the heart of the Asbury experience.

Next week, April 13-15, the R5 South Africa Forum brings campus attention to the complex history of racial reconciliation in South Africa. (See full forum schedule below). The forum is named for its five themes — Remembrance, Resistance, Reconciliation, Representation and Re-visioning.

Just one example of Asbury’s commitment to engaging global culture, the R5 South Africa Forum will equip Asbury’s campus community with informed perspectives on issues of global racial reconciliation. Events will include a large international art exhibit, visiting Chapel speakers, discussion panels, a movie on Reasoner Green and more.

“We don’t just talk about being a global campus — we actually bring a diverse range of experiences and perspectives to campus so that we can learn and grow together,” said Dr. Linda Stratford, professor of Art History at Asbury and director of Asbury’s Paris Semester. “It’s a great way to prepare students to go into a global world.”

A highlight of the R5 South Africa Forum will be “Between the Shadow and the Light: an Exhibit Out of South Africa,” on view in Asbury’s Art Gallery April 6 through May 13. Coordinated largely by Professor Meg Swayze, the exhibit features work by 20 artists from South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Canada and the U.S., including work by Asbury Professor Keith Barker. For Asbury students, the exhibit will be a window into human struggles seen in South Africa for centuries.

“One element that will be important, but difficult, is the dark side of humanity displayed by apartheid,” Stratford said. “It’s a recognition of the depravity into which we can sink. But we’ll also see forgiveness. The reason the show is titled ‘Shadow and Light’ is that’s it’s a study in contrast. How do we show the dark and also the light in terms of our humanity, and how does the artistic imagination allow us to better understand both?”

The forum will also bring guest speakers to campus, including brothers Kiza, Philippe and Babele Emedi (artists, singers and former refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo); Jon Anderson (Art Faculty, Biola University); Steve Offutt (Professor of Development Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary);and Rachel Smith (Art Faculty, Taylor University).

On Friday, students will have the opportunity to enjoy a movie on Reasoner Green. “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” will begin at 7:30 p.m., with popcorn and Ale-8 provided.

The R5 South Africa Forum is organized and sponsored by the Asbury University Art Department with additional sponsorship by the Artist Series Committee, the Global Engagement Office, The Cornerstone Project, the Office of Intercultural Programs and The Staley Lecture Series.

R5 South Africa Forum Event Schedule

Tuesday, April 12

  • Guest Speakers — Kiza, Philippe and Babele Emedi (artists, singers and former refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo), 3 p.m., Kinlaw Library Boardroom

Wednesday, April 13

  • Chapel — Jonathan Anderson (Art Faculty, Biola University), 10 a.m., Hughes Auditorium

Thursday April 14

  • Concert — Music of South Africa (Women’s Choir and Chorale), 11 a.m., Akers Auditorium
  • Guest Speaker — Dr. Rachel Smith (Art Faculty, Taylor University), 3:30 p.m., Kinlaw Boardroom

Friday April 15

  • Chapel — Steve Offutt (Professor of Development Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary), 10 a.m., Hughes
  • Movie on the Green — “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” 7:30 p.m., Reasoner Green. (Popcorn and Ale-8 provided).

 

To learn more about global engagement at Asbury University, visit: asbury.edu/geo