The Night of Ideas 2020

Arts and Creative Industries


A night of debate to share and express our ideas

The Night of Ideas is a global initiative from the French Institute in Paris that will bring a diverse group of voices together to discuss a contemporary issue. This year, the event will be held on 30 January 2020 under the theme “Being Alive”, in numerous cities across the world, including Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Dakar, Brussels and Kathmandu. More than 170 debates will be organised in over 65 countries on the same night.



Visibility is the tinder that sparks individuality and personal identity. With visibility comes access to opportunities and the agency to make change. But what makes us visible?

In the age of social media, the question of visibility has taken on a new meaning. Social media and messaging apps like Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp have made human beings more visible than ever before – to their friends, colleagues, and the entire world.Social media offers a new forum to express ourselves, whether it’s for a noble cause, or just to share personal news. But is everything worth being made visible?

What about the visibility of those who are often made invisible by their circumstances – poverty, gender, the elderly?

South Africa’s unique history makes the question of visibility particularly interesting. The legacy of apartheid, which determined who was visible, is still relevant to today’s struggle with inequality.

Join a panel discussion that will examine how different privileges influence the conversation, and language around our identity, deciding whether we are seen. The session will be moderated by renowned journalist Michelle Constant and feature three women who are active in their desire to make others more visible through their work in technology, the visual arts and documentary story-telling – “African Teen Geeks” founder Lindiwe Matlali, artist Gabrielle Goliath and filmmaker Arya Lalloo.



Michelle Constant

Michelle Constant stepped down as CEO from Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) after 10 years, in 2019. Subsequent to leaving BASA, she is facilitating and consulting diverse NPC Foundations, Trusts, and corporates on strategy, social impact, corporate social development, fundraising, partnership, transformation and diversity – using cultural and creative intelligence and shared value tools. Constant writes a monthly column for different national newspapers and magazines. She also hosts the weekend breakfast shows on national radio station SAFM.
In January 2016 she was awarded the Order of the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the Government of France for her work in culture and the arts. Constant is serving her second term as a non- executive director on the Board of SA Tourism nationally. She serves on the Board of the National Arts Festival as a non-Executive member, and was recently invited to the Board of Trustees for the UP Javett Arts Centre.


Gabrielle Goliath

Gabrielle Goliath situates her practice within contexts marked by the traces, disparities and as- of-yet unreconciled traumas of colonialism and apartheid, as well as socially entrenched structures of patriarchal power and rape-culture. Enabling opportunities for affective, relational encounters, she seeks to resist the violence through which black, brown, feminine, queer and vulnerable bodies are routinely fixed through forms of representation.
Goliath has exhibited widely around the world. She has also won a number of awards including a Future Generation Art Prize/Special Prize (2019), the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award (2019), as well as the Institut Français, Afrique en Créations Prize at the Bamako Biennale (2017). Her work features in numerous public and private collections, including the TATE Modern, Iziko South African National Gallery, Johannesburg Art Gallery, and Wits Art Museum. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate with the Institute for Creative Arts at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Arya Lalloo

Active in the industry since 2006, Arya Lalloo is a multi-disciplinary South African filmmaker based in Johannesburg. She has written and directed shorts, music videos and factual programs as well as the internationally acclaimed feature documentary Jeppe on a Friday (co-directed with Shannon Walsh). As an editor she has contributed to the award-winning feature documentaries The Giant is Falling and Everything Must Fall (dir Rehad Desai) and acted as production designer on Rafiki (dir Wanuri Kahiu) the first Kenyan feature film to be selected for competition at the Cannes Film Festival. She has also worked within the broader arts and culture environments, including an appointment as the artistic director of the large-scale public arts initiative “Michel Gondry’s Home Movie Factory in Johannesburg”.

Lindiwe Matlali
Founder of African Teen Geeks NPC

Lindiwe Matlali holds degrees and qualifications from the University of Cape Town, Stanford University, University of Pretoria and Columbia University. Her numerous accolades includes being the first African to win the Digital Female Leader award from the German Global Digital Women 2019, MTN Women in ICT Community Builder Recognition Award 2018. She was recently awarded the 2019 Commonwealth Point of Light by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She has just been appointed by the President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa to serve as Commissioner for the Fourth Industrial Revolution responsible for the development of the 4IR strategy for South Africa



Date: Thursday 30 January
Opening time: 17:30 for 18:00
Venue: Keyes Art Miles
21 Keyes Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196
Safe parking available

The panel discussion will be followed by a cocktail.

Booking is essential as space is limited.
> RSVP here


The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS)
Mylene Loubiere
T: 011 403 0458

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