Program leader seeks help

By by Edgar Martin Jr.

A sculptor and founder of The Community Arts Workshop of Durban, South Africa, visited NIU’s Center for Black Studies July 20 with hopes of gaining spport for his art program. Government-imposed restrictions complicate his vision as well as his budget.

Andreis Botha, a white native of South Africa, said his intentions are non-political. “I don’t think the CAW wishes to purport that it has a solution (to South African racial discrimination),” he said. “It is important to see the workshop in the context of tryng to address the broader problem of relationships.”

The Soth African government spends lss than half the aount of money used for white education on the teaching of black students, Botha said. He concludes that the government is “peparing the whie child for his or her position of dominance.”

“It must be understood that South African society is a very unique society in that privileged accessibility to resources is constitutionaly entrenched with the privilege of one race,” he said. “The tragedy of this is that communication cannot take place between the various groups.”

The workshop attempts to bring together many racially-integrated prticipants from neighboring townships. Botha said his attempts are met with little success.

Although he would like to establish satellite institutions, he said his efforts have been topped for political reasons.

Botha said he “wants to branch out and teach vocationally-orientated skills such as weaving and jewelry-making with the intention of setting up individuals with practice of the skills as a means of earning a living.”

Admasu Zike, director of the NIU Center for Black Studies, said, “The program is very good. I believe in some form or another that there are a lot of private people who are doing their best to establish some sort of dialogue with the black population. Once we determine its authenticity, then we should support it wholeheartedly.