A festival of discovery

2009-06-27 00:00

Art: Rise up! and see images of the past

ART lovers will be spoilt for choice at this year’s National Arts Festival, and visitors from Kwa-Zulu-Natal should definitely make sure they visit the exhibitions being staged by Bronwen Findlay and Gillian Ruth de Vlieg.

“Matter and Treasure and Paint” showcases Findlay’s 30-year love affair with paint. In that time, she has dabbled with printmaking, textiles and paint, while remaining committed to her primary medium.

The Grahamstown exhibition, which can be seen at the Ntsikana Gallery and Monument, has been curated by Naomi Roux and is dominated by three vast canvases, each of which is six square metres in size.

Equally impressive are the photographic images presented by De Vlieg, one of the only professional white woman photographers in the firing line during the apartheid struggle. Her collections of images, entitled “Rise Up!”, bring a different and important perspective to a period largely documented by men.

The exhibition, which is being staged in the Atherstone Room and Monument, is curated by Carol Brown and Jenny Stratton, in collaboration with the Durban Art Gallery. Visit www.nationalartsfestival.co.za.

Film: It's a 'Disgrace' not to go

FILM fans visiting this year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown can look forward to the premiere of the film adaptation of JM Coetzee’s novel Disgrace, starring John Malkovich, which has already won Best Film at both the Toronto Film Festival and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

The film, which will be screened on July 10 and 11, tells the story of a Cape Town university lecturer with a penchant for young girls.

When one of them tells the police about him, he heads to Grahamstown to see his daughter and comes face to face with the brutality of Africa.

Other South African films getting their first public airings include Savo Tufeg-dzic’s Crime , starring Kevin Smith, which tells the story of a man who comes home to find his wife armed with a gun and an intruder tied up in the kitchen; and Anton Kotze’s hallucinogenic Safari Obscura, which takes the cinemagoer on a journey through the African continent where animism is the key and gods are killed and eaten as part of the process of renewal.

Festival: Market gets better deal

THE popular Transnet Village Green Market has been relocated to a spacious site on the Rhodes University Campus, where the tempting plethora of stalls will be augmented by a sports café and beer garden and a dedicated performance space.

Additional stalls will also be open at Fiddler’s Fair, the Church Square Container Village, which has been relocated to Fiddler’s Green, along with the mobile Transnet Stage with its free performances.

The Student Theatre Festival features works from 11 tertiary institutions including the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg), the Durban University of Technology, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban).

And to ensure that audiences are spoiled for choice, the main programme is supplemented by the Fringe Festival, which offers festivalgoers everything from drama and dance to musicals, physical theatre, poetry, comedy, music, film and visual arts.

Think!Fest: Being a lesbiran sangoma

THE Winter School lecture series has been re-branded as Think!Fest and the format changed to include more audience participation in the series of open conversations.

Among those taking part is Durban’s Iain “Ewok” Robinson, who will be discussing contemporary street art with a focus on graffiti writing and its roots in hip-hop culture in his talk titled “The Right To Write: Graffiti Art and the Urban Identity” on Saturday, July 11.

Another interesting talk is likely to be Nkunzi Nkabinde’s “My Life As A Lesbian Sangoma” on Thursday, July 9. Nkabinde is the author of Black Bull, Ancestors and Me, which explores the dimensions of her sexual identity through her relationship with her male and female ancestors.

For more information, visit www.nationalartsfestival.co.za

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