Visual Redress Collection

The Circle sculpture was conceived of during the 2015/2016 student protests by Stephané Conradie, then a student and currently an SU lecturer. Installed on a patch of grass on the Rooiplein, it features 11 women in a seated position as if in casual conversation with each other. This positioning also allows for viewer engagement and for the sculpture to become part of the day-to-day exchanges and activities that take place in this space. It is in contrast to the other figural sculpture in the area (the Jan Marais statue), which follows a more traditional form of a male figure on a pedestal.

About 300 female students from diverse groups were asked to name their female role models and the women in the sculpture were drawn from this list. These women are a mix of historical figures and current/future leaders. They are: Krotoa/Eve, the ancestor of many South Africans; former South African Public Protector and current SU Law Professor Thuli Madonsela; anti-apartheid activists Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Fatima Meer, and Lillian Ngoyi; actress Quanita Adams; author Antjie Krog; Wimbledon wheelchair tennis player Kgothatso Montjane; artist and activist Zanele Muholi; musician Dope Saint Jude; and an eleventh anonymous woman who represents all other women’s voices

Photo: Henk Oets