Brent Dodd

Title: Trance Dance
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: 176cm x 68cm

This painting is about the act of realizing difficult decisions. The analogy is to that of a traditional African trance dance, where individuals dance around a fire, endlessly, ultimately entering into trances. In the dream world state one theoretically is able to realize solutions and ‘see’ the way forward. Ultimately, then coming out of the dream state back to reality. The individuals in the painting start out of focus on the left, dreaming, finally coming into focus on the right, in the new reality. Similarly, the third individual is aged, as difficult decisions can do to one, but on achieving the hard decision, one has a new lease on life, and hence the gap, between the three individuals and the new youthful individual on the right of the canvas.

Stephen Seminar Number 3: Pessimism of the diagnosis and optimism of prescription.

Timbuktu manuscripts of an old Astronomy Table

Today the Stephen Seminar was hosted by two speakers on African Philosophy. The first speaker went on to talk about truth and that an important part of truth-value is situated in the self. 


He mentioned Timbuktu as an example of just advanced Africa was in a sense. Timbuktu a small place that sits in the void away from everything and everybody, associated with nothingness, is busy compiling a library with text dating back as far as 8900BC. 


This just goes to show that the intelligence of Africa should not be underrated as it now has from in the form of ancient Arabic texts that it has in fact got an academic background. This also places Timbuktu in a sphere of universality in the sense that it now engages with the world on academic level from its individual level of truth. 


The second speaker talked about perception and how it can really blind a person if he does not explore the situation for himself. He mentioned Ethiopia as an example and went on to say that when Ethiopia comes up in any conversation that the first thoughts running through our minds are of starving kids famine stricken. 


This is again a perception because very little people with an academic background have been in Ethiopia and are aware of a 40-year plan to relief the situation. This plan is on the scale of HIV/AIDS and is getting allot of attention. This action plan has in mind to develop new ideas for energy efficiency, creating jobs, and land reform. 


In essence the speakers both had one forthcoming message; that opinion should not be made public unless it is an informed opinion.