Migrating in a new direction

2018-05-16 06:00
The 2018 Vrystaat Arts Festival launch function was held at the National Afrikaans Literary Museum and Research Centre – Theatre and Music in Bloemfontein on Wednesday (09/05). Stakeholders are from the left, front: Jeannine van Zyl (general manager: Volksblad Central Group), Annalize Dedekind (chairperson of the Vry­staat Arts Festival management committee and deputy editor of Volksblad), Ria Deysel (director of the University of the Free State’s Department Physical Resources) and Dr Ricardo Peach (director of the festival); back: Etienne van Niekerk, (director of PwC and leader of the festival management committee), Paul Müller (marketing manager: Volksblad Central Group) and De Villiers Brink (businessman and member of the festival management committee). Photo: Mlungisi Louw

The 2018 Vrystaat Arts Festival launch function was held at the National Afrikaans Literary Museum and Research Centre – Theatre and Music in Bloemfontein on Wednesday (09/05). Stakeholders are from the left, front: Jeannine van Zyl (general manager: Volksblad Central Group), Annalize Dedekind (chairperson of the Vry­staat Arts Festival management committee and deputy editor of Volksblad), Ria Deysel (director of the University of the Free State’s Department Physical Resources) and Dr Ricardo Peach (director of the festival); back: Etienne van Niekerk, (director of PwC and leader of the festival management committee), Paul Müller (marketing manager: Volksblad Central Group) and De Villiers Brink (businessman and member of the festival management committee). Photo: Mlungisi Louw

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Vrystaat Arts Festival, a core Afrikaans language celebration, is on its way to become one of the key international arts festivals on the African continent.

The 2018 edition of the showpiece will be staged from 8 to 11 July at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) campus in Bloemfontein.

It was launched on Wednesday (09/05) at a function held at the National Afrikaans Literary Museum and Research Centre – Theatre and Music in Bloemfontein.

“Migration” is the theme of this year’s Vrystaat Arts Festival.

“Not only does it drives one to a deeper level of thought, but also holds a promise of excitement. Migration makes me think of the Serengeti in Kenya with its almost two million wildebeest migrating annually to better grazing in the Masai Mara Reserve.

“With dangers such as predators lurking, they also must go with their young through rivers teeming with crocodiles. With millions of hooves trampling the earth to dust they move goal orientated with great effort to reach their new home,” said Annalize Dedekind, chairperson of the Vrystaat Arts Festival management committee and deputy editor of Volksblad.

She said when the festival started as the Volksblad Arts Festival in 2000, the focus was the development of the arts in Afrikaans.

“When one looks back, one can say that this goal has been reached very successfully.

“With the gradual change of not only the political and social landscape in South Africa, but also the arts landscape, the festival had to answer the difficult question of whether the ‘grazing’ is still enough to stage a sustainable festival.

“A new direction, a new strategy, new plans, new landscapes were needed. Thus, a migration, a groundbreaking move, more mobility became a necessity,” said Dedekind.

Prof. Francis Petersen, rector and vice-chancellor of the UFS, is optimistic that the physical environment the campus offers to festival goers and, with the help of the management team, the event will be grow even bigger in stature.

“We will ensure that the spaces are even more welco­ming to our students and visitors. The festival and the UFS have two core aspects in common, both deeply rooted in the communities of Bloemfontein, the Free State, and the surrounding provinces.

“Similarly, to the growing number of students at the UFS, the growing attendance rate of not only the main festival, but also the supporting programmes such as the Literary Festival, Vrynge, Programme for Innovation in Arts and Development (PIAD), Pan-African Creative Exchange (Pace), and the public arts programme demonstrate that the Vrystaat Arts Festival, is definitely here to stay,” said Petersen.

Dr Ricardo Peach, director of the festival, said Bloemfontein has all the ingredients to ensure success of this event.

“We are centrally located, have excellent transport options (including an international airport), brilliant accommodation, and some of the best theatre and technical infrastructure of any secondary city in Africa.

“We have a creative pool of local and national talent whose mark is clearly being felt on the world stage. In addition to this talented cohort of artists, more than 40 international writers, poets and cultural workers are involved in our programme.

“We also welcome a significant number of international visitors for the inaugural Pace, thanks to its founding sponsor the National Afrikaans Theatre Initiative (NATi),” Peach said.

“This year we also host the first South African Arts and Health Summit, an initiative addressing the need for increased collaboration between the arts and health communities. The summit will explore new health and arts partnerships and connect cultural practitioners interested in community well-being.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.