Category: Think!Fest

Albie Sachs says that when he grew up, he didn’t exactly see Cecil John Rhodes as Mr Nice Guy. But when he was at the University of Cape Town, the ethos was to be friendly to him. Although bothered by the presence of Rhodes, Sachs says they had bigger battles to fight at the time. There was academic integration, but social segregation on campus. Obviously all that has now changed.

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Pierre de Vos. Photo: Aaliyah Tshabalala

A legal scholar blogging about constitutional law  doesn’t sound like a riveting proposition in  a digital media space already congested with  talking heads. Think again. Unlike many self-styled  editorialists, who arrive at the big debates of the day  with an arsenal of adjectives and little else, University  of Cape Town scholar Pierre de Vos brings something  far simpler to the table: the law.  He understands it intimately. In  anticipation of his Think!Fest talk, Cue asked De Vos why  he started blogging about a three letter  word that, for better or worse,  is a part of everyone’s daily life.

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Illustration: Sarah Rose De Villiers

Our Constitution is great. So fantastic, in fact, that I carry it around in my handbag. But constitutionality is not an African concept and yesterday’s Think!Fest screening of The Shore Break explored this reality.

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What happens when you give five writers the same book to read and then ask them to create a 10-minute dialogue based on the book? Zulu Crush Dialogues is a Think!Fest presentation of the five different scenarios created by the writers based on their interpretation of Zulu Crush, a book written by Roel Twijnstra about a young Dutch man who falls in love with a Zulu woman, Zandile. She follows him to the Netherlands but do they have their happy ever after?

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Two time Emmy nominee, Loyiso Goyo performs his State of the Nation show during the 2015 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, 6 July 2015. Photo:CuePix/Ruan Scheepers

It’s hard to imagine the host of Late Night News nervous, but Loyiso Gola was visibly so when he began his talk at Think!Fest.

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South American filmmakers Alvaro Brechner and Pablo Cesar shared the experience they had with bolstering their continent’s flagging independent cinema industry, hoping that it can benefit the South African film industry.

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This year’s Think!Fest sees a host of interesting topics and debates taking place. The events, in Rhodes University’s Eden Grove complex, see a wide range of bright minds coming together to flesh out the problems facing South Africa.

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The tense relationship between the media and the state is nothing new. It was an issue when the apartheid government was in power, and remains to be an issue today.

Speaking at Think!Fest, Siviwe Mdoda, of the Right2Know campaign, says that the current move to control the media and access to information began in 2009 – but was ignored by many people as it was seen as a middle-class issue. That has now changed.

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Cale Waddacor, a South African urban arts photographer and documentarian, is in town to discuss the role of urban art in public spaces in South Africa. (Photo:Abbey Hudson)

Graffiti isn’t just an outlet for delinquent youths who want to deface public spaces and get famous. This is what Cale Waddacor, one of the foremost urban documentarians in the country, told the audience attending the first day of Think!Fest.

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Cerebral, hard-hitting, and ever so slightly esoteric, Think!Fest returns again this Festival with a programme chock-full of sharp debate and intellectual might.

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