The Visionary Animal:

Wits Origins centre

Origins Centre invites to a talk by Renaud Ego titled The Visionary Animal: An Insight into San Rock Art

Thursday 5 April 2018, 18h00, Origins Centre

The interpretation of San rock art has been instructed by two fundamental categories of anthropology: myth and ritual. These interpretations seek to explain what the images are saying, without asking what they are doing. Paintings operate through the work that was put into their production, and their meaning is fully incorporated into their visual form. To illustrate this point of view, which is the core of the collection of essays, L’animal voyant (The visionary animal), various examples will be discussed, particularly themes such as rain animals, and therianthropes that combine human and animal bodies


About Renaud Ego: Renaud is a French poet, novelist and essayist, notably in the fields of literature and art. He has taught in various universities and schools of arts, including l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle and l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. Renaud Ego published a first monography (in French) entitled “San, art rupestre d’Afrique australe  (San, rock art from southern African countries) in 2000, and a second book, L’Animal voyant, in 2015, that will be soon published in English under the title The Visionary Animal.


This public lecture is brought to you at the Origins Centre through collaborations with The French Embassy, Institut Français Afrique de Sud (IFAS), the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Sci-Bono Discovery Centre and the Rock Art Research Institute (RARI).


Tickets can be booked on Webtickets (

CPD Credits