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Another Award for DUT International Fashion Photographer

Another Award for DUT International Fashion Photographer

The Durban University of Technology’s international fashion photographer, designer and lecturer, Nirma Madhoo-Chipps, won the Best Digital Humanities Tool Award at the inaugural National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) Book, Creative and Digital Awards Ceremony in Johannesburg recently.

The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) awards  gives recognition and celebrates those members of the Humanities and Social Sciences community who are undertaking the necessary work of creating post apartheid and post-colonial forms of scholarship, creative production and digital humanities outputs.

Madhoo-Chipps was thrilled at winning the award in the category she was contending in and feels that the NIHSS should to be commended for recognising the Digital Humanities as an area of research in South Africa. “We seldom reflect on the power of imagery in this visual-centric culture. In this vein, we have, through the consumption of fashion imagery, witnessed specific ideals of beauty, narratives, body types, identities, race and gender definitions assume universal cultural dominance in a global landscape with a misrepresented diversity. It is therefore an honour to be shortlisted for the award, especially for work done in the context of fashion imagery as research,” she said proudly.

The talented lecturer is no stranger to winning accolades for her work. She had won first prize in the C’N’C Plug Generation Design Contest in 2012 where she was given a Euro cheque prize and Costume National (an Italian Fashion house) flew her to Milan to attend their show at the Milan Fashion Week to see her design on the C’N’C catwalk. She also has a website featuring photographs of garments designed by DUT Fashion students and has had her work (photographs) featured in the prestigious UK Stylenoir magazine, the world’s largest magazine dedicated to dark fashion and culture.

Madhoo-Chipp’s winning NIHSS entry was a paper themed Future Body: Technological Embodiment In Digital Fashion Media. “This was illustrated by a multimedia body of work that I developed as a part of my MA in Fashion Photography at the London College of Fashion. This series which can be viewed on my webpage ( consists of fashion photographs, an interactive digital installation and a fashion film which has been screened in London, Melbourne, Cape Town, Johannesburg and most recently DUT Digifest 2015,” she said.

Madhoo-Chipps has been keeping busy with various projects, the most recent being shooting a new project in Iceland and London last year (2015) with some support from an award from London College of Fashion. 

Acknowledging her dedication to the craft was DUT Fashion and Textiles Head of Department, Sunthra Moodley, who said Madhoo-Chipps’ work is unique and her creativity knows no bounds. “Her dedication and insight for digital arts is really inspiring. I am extremely proud of her and wish her many years of great achievements,” she said.

Also reflecting on Madhoo-Chipps’s excellent work ethic was Dr René Smith, Digifest Director and Executive Dean: Arts and Design, who reiterated that her work is of a high standard; reflecting depth and quality. “Her entry was innovative, creative and relevant. It is wonderful that a DUT staff member was awarded the first NIHSS Awards of the night. We are incredibly proud of Nirma and her contribution to Digital Humanities, Design and the Arts in general,” she said.  

– Waheeda Peters

Pictured: Nirma Madhoo-Chipps.  

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