Theatre inspired by words

“What we have seen in the festival this week, is words that have inspired, conspired, interrogated, critiqued, analysed and reflected and I could add a lot more to that,” says Ismail Mahomed, Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival. “Artists have always found inspiration somewhere,” says Mahomed. South Africa has a history of producing dynamic…

Will the 1820 Settler’s Monument be renamed?

The recent #RhodesMustFall campaign provoked vital conversations about the colonial heritage of the country.  Understandably, the monuments and artworks representing colonial history created a sense of unease among the students, which was emphasised by the institutional racism of the university. Brenda Schmahmann discusses the impact of these monuments, their naming and the particular changes underway…

Women pursuing cultural leadership despite challenges

Women are slowly making their way up in the world with things shifting and changing considerably over the years. The arts industry in particular is showing good signs. It was recently announced that 80% of this years National Arts Festival programme is written, created, directed or headlined by women.

Creation and appreciation of the arts remain a privilege

With the onset of the National Arts Festival in a town with a strong economic divide, it’s important to consider what seperates and excludes some people from creating and appreciating the arts. Decolonisation is not a simple process, but is multi-faceted. “It is a worldwide hegemonic process that has been going on for centuries,” says…

The value of art goes beyond the price tag

Jen Snowball’s talk was a fitting kick-off for Think!Fest as it offered insight into the broader impact of arts, culture and creativity on the South African economy. During the National Arts Festival, hundreds of people are employed in various festival related jobs. Several people get a platform to perform and sell their arts while others travel across the…