Zanele Muholi was one of three recipients of an Honorary Doctoral Degree (Doctor honoris causa) awarded by the University of Liège in Belgium to mark the start of the new 2023-2024 academic year. Muholi had previously received an Honorary Professorship from the University of the Arts/Hochschule für Künste Bremen (Germany).
Muholi, who attended the ceremony in person, was honored alongside French astrophysicist and philosopher, Aurélien Barrau, and French-American Nobel Prize-winning economist, Esther Duflo. University of Liège Rector Anne-Sophie Nyssen explained that the decision to choose these three specific recipients was motivated by the desire to “reconcile art and science and to commit to re-enchanting our world.” She continued: “Art and science were essentially about us and our future. Reason and emotion, aesthetics and ethics, they structured the fundamental ways in which we perceived, felt, and thought about the world. Some artists and scientists had the talent to draw from this intimate coherence a commitment whose strength, clarity, and sincerity aroused respect, even admiration. This was the case for the three personalities that the University of Liège honored on 19 September.”
In addition, the university hosted a conversation between Muholi, Florence Caeymaex (philosopher and Professor of Medical Ethics and Humanities), Anne-Françoise Lesuisse (curator and teacher), and Lyoz Bandie (photographer and a graduate of the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc-Liège). The discussion, which was free and open to all, was moderated by PhD researcher, independent curator, and art critic, Marjorie Ranieri.
Picture : ULiège©S.Seyen