School of Arts

CCA launches new festival in partnership with Netherlands Embassy

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The inaugural Artfluence Human Rights Arts Festival with a focus on the arts, the constitution and democracy will be presented by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities in partnership with the Embassy of the Netherlands.

Voices of Hope, Courage and Resilience is the theme for the inaugural festival that will run for four days, from Wednesday 5 May to Saturday 8 May 2021. South African playwright, satirist, and social justice activist, Dr Pieter-Dirk Uys, will deliver the keynote address at the opening.

The Artfluence Festival, supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands, will highlight the solidarity between South African and Dutch artists – past and present – whose contributions have been vital to advancing South African democracy.

With Artfluence the CCA, which has built a formidable reputation for its successful festivals – Time of the Writer, JOMBA!, Poetry Africa and the Durban International Film Festival, will add a fifth festival to its annual bouquet.

CCA Director Dr Ismail Mahomed said, ‘We want to strengthen the link with the arts and civil society, active citizenship and politics through a series of arts events and arts-based webinars, featuring South African and international artists by creating a dedicated virtual space to share, celebrate, remember, explore, provoke and promote how the arts contribute to a culture of human rights.’

Deputy Ambassador at the Embassy of the Netherlands Mr Jan Huesken added, ‘As the Netherlands we are extremely thankful for the opportunity provided to us for by the CCA, to support and promote a festival that uses arts and culture as the medium to question, discuss and explore issues of human rights. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a reset on our global society in all its facets. Apart from enormous challenges, it also provided us with the opportunity to correct shortcomings in our society; and to actually start to live and breathe the values as enshrined in our respective constitutions.’Huesken highlighted that, ‘online presentation offers the possibility for extended participation in our two countries and beyond. This festival will hopefully embed itself in the challenging bouquet of annual festivals already provided by the CCA and have a permanent impact on our societies.’

Mahomed will co-curate the inaugural festival with cultural and gender activist Ms Yusrah Bardien. ‘Each day of the festival will be catalysed by an arts event and will be supported by a moderated discussion with informed activists for human rights comprised of a South African, a Dutch speaker and participants from other states on the African continent. We will invite artists and organisations whose artistic reputations are anchored on advocating for human rights to participate in the inaugural Artfluence Festival,’ explained Bardien.

As an online event, each of the events and panel discussions will be live-streamed on the festival’s social media pages and the CCA YouTube page (www.youtube.com/centreforcreativearts). You can find Artfluence on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as @Artfluencefest, which is also where the festival will be streaming live from.

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