Posts Tagged ‘south africa’

At Think!Fest’s A Call and Response panel discussion, Mzwakhe Mdidimba (aka Sticks) who was in the audience asked, “Where is the South African jazz? We have no South African jazz now”. Panel member Louis Moholo, the avant-garde musician, who once played drums for the Blue Notes and the Brotherhood of Breath, basically endorsed Artscape’s indigenous arts manager’s opinion.

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Vusi Mahlasela’s dynamic vocals and melodious guitar work became iconic symbols of the struggle   against apartheid when he was still in his 20s. Now, approaching his 50th birthday, this self-described  troubadour is playing as hard as ever.

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A platform for conversation between people who were “other” to each other during the apartheid-era wars, the Legacies of Apartheid Wars seminar series was surprisingly
well received.

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Mary Sibande, Standard Bank Young Artist visual arts winner, is known for the creation of a very particular brand of femininity. “To me, it didn’t make sense to show another sex. I am female. I am a woman,” says Sibande, whose body of work relies on a clever combination of fashion and historical interpretation.

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Three showcases of important South African work are on offer at this year’s National Arts Festival: a spotlight on the work of playwright Mike van Graan, acclaimed work from the Market Theatre, and new work produced by the PE Opera House and funded by the Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council.

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Rhinos have been in the media a lot recently, but spare a thought for leopards. These shy felines are living an endangered existence. Kate Muller of the Landmark Foundation presented a lecture at Think!Fest about leopard conservation in the Western Cape yesterday.

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Cheap toys and primary colours seem to overflow from their stall in the Market Square. Amid the rainbow-coloured slinkies, knock-off action figures and plastic axes, three words are stamped on nearly everything: “Made in China”.

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The portrayal of individual life and investigations into the relationships between people are recurrent themes in the Fringe’s Cinemazing Short Films package. Margot and the Dolls, directed by Hannah Lax, offers a brief look into the fraught relationship between mother and daughter.

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With only a handful of Afrikaans productions on this year’s programme, is it ever viable to bring and showcase Afrikaans works at the Festival? Are arts festivals in South Africa polarised according to language? And, do they have a predominantly English character?

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“We have failed her,” say three of the four cast members of Nicholas Ellenbogen and Pieter Bosch Botha’s new production, Subject to Citizen. They stand around Nonkululeko, a Zulu woman whose mother gave birth to her while standing in the queue for the first national elections back in 1994.

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