Zooming into the impact of arts

2019-07-02 06:01
The audience braved the cold weather to attend the event. PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

The audience braved the cold weather to attend the event. PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

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In an attempt to start a conversation and educate people about the arts, BlaqPearl Foundation held a panel discussion on its premises in Portland on Saturday 22 June.

Members of the panel included Janine Stompies (a photography company owner), Kenan Peterson (a creative director), Kurt Orderson (founder and director of Azania Rising Productions) and Mpendulo Mabindisa, a music video director.

Titled “How Art Can Impact Your Life”, the session was attended by a small group of art lovers, residents and artistic community groups Alliance Francaise du Cap and Ekse Lens.

The panel shared their personal stories of how they ended up where they are in their respective fields, while Blaqpearl director Janine Overmeyer welcomed the guests and thanked them for coming. Overmeyer led the discussion with Chenal Kock, who was born in Mitchell’s Plain, playing the role of the master of ceremony (MC).

Stompies revealed she has a professional background in Information Technology (IT) and worked for a number of years.

She shared, while she was in the IT field, she felt she was losing herself. And for her, that was a good enough sign to quit, she bought a camera, learned how to snap and fell in love with it.

For Orderson, being a filmmaker means that one has to do self-reflection, he said artists from communities need to produce content that the residents will be able to relate to.

“We need to tell our own stories from our own reflection,” he said.

The panel agreed that for them art is a form of healing from different feelings one could be feeling.

Sophie Jasmin, director for Alliance Francaise du Cap, said she is thrilled to be part of the event even though the weather was cold.

Alliance Franchise is a registered non-profit organisation (NPO) that offers free French lessons, hosts cultural activities and promotes South African and France cultural activities.

She said Blaqpearl is a perfect platform for them to reach a greater and wider range of youth. “Blaqpearl is firstly a strong partner in Mitchell’s Plain and I feel like they can help us build a different programme to help the youth because they have a good network,” she said.

Jasmin said the youth out there is in need of platforms such as the session and the organisation is doing well in mobilising them.

Mpumelelo Sefalane, Ekse Lens’ team member, gave the organisation a high five for hosting an event, saying more and more events of this nature are needed in their communities.

“I am super excited about this event, people came even though there was rain. The event gave people a chance to hear from others who have made it in the arts field to share what the art has done for them,” he said.

Ekse Lens is an institution that offers free services to youth who are interested in photography. They bring experienced photographers to share their knowledge with their trainees

He claimed there is a great need for these types of sessions because they help break the divide. The Site C resident made mention of the fact that in the audience there were people he knew from Langa. He claimed they had to travel from such areas to be able to get an opportunity to attend the event.

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