We had the PhD T-Node Winter Session in South Africa, in Johannesburg and the Mangwa Valley, as a joint session between CaiiA and T-Node. Indeed it was a very intense one, because during the session (10 days) supervisors and candidates also participated to the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Conference, organized by Wits – University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (see previous post). Here some pictures of the candidates’ updates and of Johannesburg.

For the tutorial part of the session we moved to the Mangwa Valley, in the heart of the Dinokeng Reserve, a natural reserve. It was an intense and inspiring experience for the candidates, as well as for the supervisors, working, studying and thinking in direct touch with a nature that is normally perceived only through the media.

In South Africa in December Summer is starting, and every living being is somehow busy in many activities. In the natural reserve there are giraffes, varieties of gazelles, and zebras, rhinos, buffalos, hienas, jackals, cheetahs, ostriches, crocodiles – just to mention the most exotic beings – and lot of species of birds, reptiles and insects.

What really strikes is the abundance, pervasivity, moltitude of life. Nature and life are everywhere, astonishingly, permanently in front of you: calls, shouts, screams, noises, mooses, rustles, buzzes, everywhere during day and night; and also trees, grass, flowers, wind, rain, water, with odors, warm and cold, hard and soft…. An environmental sensory sphere not yet reduced and limited by the anthropization process that we normally experience in the industrial cultures.