Change the world


Reasons to be Proud - #R2bPNelson Mandela University PhD in Architecture student Kawthar Jeewa has been selected as one of 50 participants at the first Biennale College Architettura (BCA) 2023 in Venice, Italy.

Organised by the renowned La Biennale di Venezia, the Biennale College with the theme “The Laboratory of the Future” will run from 25 June to 22 July 2023 and will complement and enrich the 18th International Architecture Exhibition curated by Prof Lesley Lokko.

It will explore how to place the exhibition’s central themes, decolonisation and decarbonisation, at the heart of architectural education. The process will culminate in a documentary by Ángel Borrego Cubero, which will be screened as part of the exhibition.

"The BCA has received many applications from fine students, academics, and practitioners. And to be part of those accepted is incredibly rewarding. It means that I am on the right path and at the right pace.  

“In my application, I highlighted the dynamic between the Global North and Global South’s position on the climate justice crisis.

“This theme is important to me because islands are especially vulnerable to climate change, I have a chance to share the knowledge that I have accumulated from home and from Mandela University. "Decolonisation and decarbonisation" are global issues; therefore, they require global collaboration. "

Kawthar’s work is familiar to the theme of decolonisation and decarbonisation, specifically from the scale of her island home in Mauritius. Her research topic for her PhD isInvestigating Créole Houses: decolonising the Créole architecture of Port Louis, Mauritius”.

“I have been investigating through multiple archives and site work the influence of Indigenous Knowledge Systems of the enslaved onto Créole architecture, which has been popularised as a French Colonial architecture in Mauritius.

“This study will have an impact on the preservation of our Mauritian heritage”, says Kawthar, whose study supervisor is Dr Magda Minguzzi.

Biennale College is a project of La Biennale di Venezia’s dedicated to training and supporting young artists in all the artistic fields and in the specific activities of La Biennale’s organisational structure.

Already operating in the cinema, dance, music, theatre, art departments and the historic archives, Biennale College was conceived to promote young talents, offering them the opportunity to work closely with mentors to develop “creations” that will become part of the programmes of the artistic departments.

In 2017, Kawthar, as third-year student at Mandela University, won third prize in the category best design" together with her group at the Workshop di Architettura Venezia (WAVe) in Venice organised by Università IUAV. The workshop was entitled Syria: The making of the future and they explored architecture after the war in Syria. Thousands of students participated, she said.

She also participated in this workshop as second-year student the previous year.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160