We are delighted to announce that we have joined forces with The Cradle of Human Culture, located in the Western Cape, to bring you a webinar titled “The age of emojis: from then to now to where we are going.”

The Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng holds some of the earliest evidence of the human journey, starting from about 3.5 million years ago; the Cradle of Human Culture holds evidence of how our ancestors began to manifest abstract thought, to use fire to improve their tool-making skills and to exploit marine resources for their nutrition systematically and the earliest development of abstract in the form of art.

Moderated by our Curator Kimberleigh Tommy, the webinar focus will be on the evolution of language through the ages.

Whereas linguistics is concerned with the nature of language and communication, drawing is a form of writing, by using pictures instead of words. It is a form of communication that is expressive, descriptive and observational. Our list of panellists will shed some light on the ever-evolving topic of human communication.

We have brought together three influential speakers, all up and coming leaders in their fields who will share their expertise with us.

Guest speakers

  • Dr Zakeera Docrat is a forensic/legal linguist, author and researcher. Dr Docrat is presently an Andrew W Mellon Foundation post-doctoral research fellow in forensic linguistics (language and law) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Dr Docrat was Rhodes University’s first post-doctoral research fellow in forensic linguistics (language and law), under the auspices of the NRF SARChI Chair in the Intellectualisation of African Languages, Multilingualism and Education.
  • Dr Larissa Mendoza Straffon is a cognitive archaeologist specializing in visual art and human evolution. She is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE) at the University of Bergen in Norway and Principal Investigator in the project ‘Visual Signs as Cognitive Tools’ at the Cognitive Psychology Unit of Leiden University in The Netherlands. Her main interests are the evolution of the human mind and the origins of art and aesthetics. Her current research combines archaeology and comparative psychology to study the cognitive mechanisms involved in making and communicating through visual art.
  • Ms Fatima Musa is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies of the University of Ghana. She is an Andrew Mellon fellow under the auspices of the Enhancing Doctoral Training in the Humanities (EnDoTH), currently researching the Rock Arts of North East Region in Ghana as part of her Doctoral Thesis. Since 2016, she has worked with the Department’s Museum and Library, creating a working catalogue still in use at the library. She is also an alumnus of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). She spent a semester working with the Museum team in preserving on-site museums while working on her thesis.

Says Kimberleigh Tommy:

“Emojis are a universal language, those little icons help us speak to each other without having to speak at all. That’s powerful, it creates connections where language once created barriers. I am looking forward to listening and learning from our incredible panelists!”

And when we asked our MD Michael Worsnip for a comment:

“I have only one thing to say…

We look forward to you joining the conversation on 21 October 2021 at 18h30 SAST. To register click HERE. The event will also be streamed live on the Maropeng and Cradle of Human Culture Facebook Page.