Uncategorized Something out of very little

Something out of very little

Every so often the small boy looks up and stares at me with curious eyes. His face is covered in dirt and dry snot. But he doesn’t care – he’s going to the Village Green.

He is one of 20 young street-buskers taking part in Art Factory, a programme initiated by Merran Marr and Vuyo Booi of the Sakhuluntu Cultural Group.

With the help of various Festival performers and artists, the 20 youngsters have produced a show In Just 6 Days, which they’ll perform for the first time today.

A trip to the Village Green is probably the closest thing to a field trip he has ever experienced and he’s very excited.

His Art Factory teachers, Prince Shapiro and Pierrot the Clown, are performing at the market.

As we enter the Village Green, I feel as though I’m experiencing the Festival for the first time.

Puppets entertainBoys on stilts

At the same time, a large group of young street-buskers perform for a non-existent audience outside the Monument.

Aged between 9 and 15 years old, they have been busking at the Festival for many years.

These children have never heard of the Art Factory, nor have they heard of Prince Shapiro or Pierrot the Clown.

The skills they have, they learnt from their older brothers.

Their props – broken glasses, girls’ dresses and laddered stockings – come from home.

“It’s hard to stand here,” says one, his face painted white, “but we need to get a bit of money.”

They leave home at 7am and return at 7pm. They do this every day for the duration of the Festival.

A group of six tell me that collectively, they make between R10 and R20 a day.

“Some people tease us,” a young boy tells me. “They act as though they put money in but the just kick the tray.”

In Just 6 Days is at the Village Green today at 1.15pm and at ILAM at 3pm

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