Summer Travel Intensives

South Africa: Colonial Histories and Contested Landscapes

Summer Travel Intensive Program to South Africa was cancelled on March 15, 2020 as a precaution and response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). MICA hopes to offer South Africa: Colonial Histories and Contested Landscapes during Summer 2021.


Travel Dates: Program canceled on March 15, 2020

Program Overview

MICA's program in South Africa is the only summer intensive on the African continent and connects students with the vibrant art worlds of Cape Town and Johannesburg. 

Over the course of several weeks, students will consider questions of economic, environmental, and social justice, and engage with practices that work to "decolonize"—both during the Apartheid regime of the 20th century and in the present landscape. While South Africa is one of the crucial zones of the global contemporary, it is not easy to navigate on one's own. 

The trip leaders, from MICA and Georgetown University, have a broad network that allows for a balance of intimate studio and site visits with leading artists, immersion in the epic Cape ecosystem, and directed seminar and studio time. 

All students have the option to complete written work at home for three credits of Art History, and many studio majors may receive open elective credit—including Photography, IS, GFA, and Fiber. 


Ian Bourland is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University and a critic and historian of global contemporary art, with an emphasis on problems of colonialism, postcolonialism, and empire. As an alumnus of the Whitney Independent Study Program and contributor to a range of international publications, his work investigates the ways in which power is deployed, reified, and subverted through cultural practice—primarily photography, film, and new media and their intersections with sonic and popular forms. Such research is reflected in courses that survey global modernism, contemporary art, and photography, as well as thematic seminars on globalization, the Black Atlantic, exile and migration, resistance movements and occupation, and a summer intensive program in South Africa that he co-founded in 2014. 

David Brooks is a New York and New Orleans-based artist whose work considers the relationship between the individual and the built and natural environment. His work investigates how cultural concerns cannot be divorced from the natural world, while also questioning the terms under which nature is perceived and utilized. Brooks has exhibited at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum; the Dallas Contemporary; Tang Museum; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco; Galerie für Landschaftskunst, Hamburg; Nevada Museum of Art; Ballroom Marfa; as well as Sculpture Center and MoMA/PS1; among others. Major commissions include Storm King Art Center; deCordova Museum; and Cass Sculpture Foundation, UK; as well as Desert Rooftops in Times Square, a 5000-sq. ft. earthwork commissioned by Art Production Fund. Brooks is the recipient of the Rome Prize, a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a research grant to the Ecuadorian Amazon from the Coypu Foundation, and a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.

Program Fees

$6,200 (does not include international airfare). Includes tuition for 3 undergraduate credits in Art History (fulfills Intellectual History second requirement), Interdisciplinary Sculpture, Photography, OR Painting.


Contact program coordinator David Brooks at or Ian Bourland at


Open to undergraduate and graduate students in all majors-18 years or older with a valid passport-who have completed at least one year of college. For all programs, credits can be applied to Studio Elective. For more information, or to inquire about scholarships, contact the MICA Open Studies at or 410-225-2219.