Arts fill public spaces

2018-05-30 06:02

Arts lovers are in for a treat of local is lekker flair during the 2018 Vrystaat Arts Festival, held from 8 to 14 July at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Public Art Projects (PAP) and Vrywees are expected to bring the best of site-specific productions to the city centre and the main campus of the UFS, which is the main host venue of the week-long festival.

Productions by PAP and Vrywees will be showcased at Hoffman Square from 9 to 13 July, from 08:00 to 17:00.

The PAP objective is to transform Bloemfontein’s inner-city with public performances, installations, interventions, temporary sculptures, visual art, murals, impromptu flash mobs, mobile art galleries, a clothing exchange initiative and fashion shows.

The line-up includes an array of initiatives.

The first of these is a poetic dialogue, Lipuisano, between male and female poets of the Free State. Orchestrated by Sicknatcha, these artists will react, provoke and answer one another through poetry, music and dance – as they share, question and celebrate their genders and their roles in society.

Some of the best talent in the province is expected to come together, speaking out against gender-based violence, human trafficking and the barriers placed between the sexes.

Fong Kong employs a combination of performance, wheatpaste posters, woven shoelace garments and pamphlets. The goal of the piece is to address public perception around the trade exercised by African “foreigners” who now live in South Africa.

The term “Fong Kong” refers to counterfeit goods largely unaffordable to blue-collar labourers. In the context of people, it indicates “fake” South Africans, which prompts the question of what a real South African looks like.

This initiative is supported through the Programme for Innovation in Artform Development (Piad).

The LAP @ PAP initiative selects four local designers to share their seasonal collections, and also challenges the traditional catwalk. Pedestrians may expect a fashion happening at Hoffman Square every day. From Monday to Thursday it will host a new textile sculpture each day. Friday culminates in a showcase of the four designers.

“Every event will surprise and challenge our sense of what can be done in public space,” said Dr. Ricardo Peach, director of the Vrystaat Arts Festival.

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