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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Aspirant illustreerders: hier’s jou kans om ’n naam vir jouself te maak!

Protea Boekhuis loods tans hulle ‘Verbeel Dit!’-kompetisie. Dié kompetisie is spesifiek gerig op unieke, oorspronklike illustrasies vir kinderboeke wat nog nie voorheen gepubliseer is nie.

Verbeel Dit! maak deel van die jaarlike internasionale Picture This-illustrasiekompetisie wat ook in Engeland, Nederland, Duitsland en België plaasvind.

Indien jy gaande is oor kinderboeke en daarna streef om kinderboeke te illustreer, besoek Picture This se webblad vir verdere inligting om jou droom te bewerkstellig.

Die sluitingsdatum is 15 Mei 2017.

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Grade 2 children illustrate Lauren Beukes’s latest book

MaverickMoxylandZoo City (SA edition)The Shining GirlsBroken Monsters

Lauren Beukes’s next project is two months away: a children’s book featuring “unbelievable beasties”, which will be illustrated with children’s drawings.

Grade 2 pupils at Prestwich Primary School in Cape Town took crayon to paper on Wednesday to create some of the “beasties” for the award-winning author’s new project.

Best known for supernatural thrillers The Shining Girls and Broken Monsters‚ Beukes says this book was largely inspired by her seven-year-old daughter.

Undoubtedly different from what her readers have come to expect‚ the Bostik Book of Unbelievable Beasties competition has allowed the former journalist to express her “cute side”.

Grade 2 children illustrate Lauren Beukes's latest book


Speaking to TMG Digital at a reading and drawing session hosted by the Shine Centre at Prestwich Primary‚ Beukes said that the aim was to just let children read‚ have fun and play.

“Kids’ literacy is so important to me and stories are often the ways in which we understand the world‚ who we are‚ and a way to experience other lives,” she said.

“I wanted these kids to use their imaginations and bring their own experiences to the story. What is so exciting is just seeing the variety of beasties already.”

According to Beukes‚ one of the more challenging aspects of writing the rhymes for the book was making sure that the “beasties” were not too scary – and that’s where her daughter came in.

“I write a lot of very dark novels for adults‚ including Broken Monsters‚ but I have actually worked in kids’ TV for a long time.

“I’ve worked on two different Disney shows and I’ve written a Wonder Woman comic for kids set in South Africa‚ and it’s just a way for me to express my cute side and to do something that my daughter actually appreciates.

“She’s seven years old and she vetted a lot of the rhymes and she was like ‘no‚ mama‚ that’s too scary‚’” Beukes said.

Pravina Vassen‚ who volunteers for the Shine Literacy programme every Monday and Wednesday‚ said that it was a privilege to witness the children’s imagination and talent.

“I think that this is an amazing project and it’s so nice to see these children using their imagination and it’s wonderful to see their talent. I didn’t realise they would draw so well‚” Vassen said.

“These pictures are just stunning.”

Grade 2 children illustrate Lauren Beukes's latest book


Prestwich Primary School principal Mahdi Samodien said that he and many other educators felt that the South African education system still has a long way to go. However‚ he feels that initiatives such as the Shine Programme not only stimulate creativity but also allow children to look at things “in a different light”.

“With regards to our education system‚ many of us feel that we still have far to go. Not only in terms of resources and what education is meant to provide for these children‚ but just the general morale of teachers‚ educators and the system is problematic‚” he said.

“Given the space‚ there is so much that learners can do. There are learners who are not necessarily able to be academically‚ intellectually or mathematically sound‚ but are so artistic and we don’t always nurture that.

“Therefore‚ opportunities like this allow them to listen‚ understand‚ and open their minds‚ this is just really so wonderful‚” he said.

The project is open to children across the country and everyone between the ages of 6 and 12 is invited to let their creativity flow by entering their masterpieces into the competition.

Competition entries close on August 20 and the draw will take place in September. The best “beasties” will be chosen to feature in Beukes’ book‚ which will be published and launched in October.

“I feel ill just thinking about the selection process‚” she said. “Just looking in this room there is so much amazing creativity and when the kids talk about their beasties‚ and they describe what’s happening in their pictures it’s so incredible.

“I have no idea how we are going to judge this. It’s going to be impossible to choose. I might cry‚” Beukes said.

“I really want to do more children’s books‚ this was so much fun‚ I just have to convince my agent.”

Despite it being an awesome excuse for her to not write her novel‚ she said with a wink.

Source: TMG Digital
Author image: Lauren Beukes on Facebook

Book details

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A brief, ephemeral encounter between two people long ago: The meeting of Qing and Joseph Orpen

By Stephen Coan

On the Trail of Qing and OrpenBeneath the blank-windowed office block cliffs of downtown Johannesburg an unusual exhibition offers a rare opportunity to consider the echoes of a series of conversations held between two men in the remote high Maloti-Drakensberg nearly 150 years ago.

In 1873 Joseph Orpen, a colonial administrator, was commissioned to track down the Hlubi chief Langalibalele kaMthimkhulu who had fled into Basutoland to escape the Natal authorities. Orpen recruited local scouts, among them a man named Qing, a Bushman who lived in the Maloti mountains. Orpen was impressed by Qing and interviewed him about his people’s stories and rituals. The two also discussed the rock art they encountered at several sites.

William Howard Schröeder's portrait of Joseph Millerd Orpen, 1872Orpen later published an account of these interviews in the Cape Monthly Magazine and this article has since come to be regarded as “one of the most thrilling documents in the archive of Bushman ethnography,” according to Jeremy Hollmann, a specialist in southern African hunter-gatherer rock art.

“The meeting between Qing and Orpen in the Maloti-Drakensberg in what is now Lesotho, is widely agreed to be a unique moment,” exhibition curator Justine Wintjes says, “and the only recorded instance in which the meanings of certain rock art scenes were discussed between an outsider, Orpen, and Qing, a man whose community may have still been making rock art.”

The meeting of Qing and Orpen, which occurred during a key episode of colonial oppression in the late nineteenth century, and its outcome forms the subject of the exhibition On the trail of Qing and Orpen: from the colonial era to the present, currently showing at the Standard Bank Art Gallery.

Although there are no pictures of Qing, this figure on horseback painted on the wall of Melikane Shelter stands in for Qing in both book and exhibition. It may have been painted during Qing’s lifetime. Source: Jeremy Hollman.

The exhibition coincides with the publication of On the trail of Qing and Orpen, authored by a multidisciplinary team of scholars: José Manuel de Prada-Samper, Menán du Plessis, Jeremy Hollmann, Jill Weintroub, Justine Wintjes and John Wright, who are also the contributors to the exhibition which was curated by Wintjes, assisted by Wright and Weintroub.

“Six people worked on six different issues,” Wintjes says. “Our approach has been even-handed. Qing and Orpen have equal status.”

Despite such statements the exhibition and the book are not without an element of controversy – notably in the use of the term “bushman”. Some “San” groups use the term “San” as a self-designation while others reject the term and prefer “Bushmen”. Some descendants of Bushmen accept the generic label “Khoisan” which Khoisan activists are fostering; others say this marginalises them.

As is pointed out in the book and in the brief texts accompanying the exhibits, the word “San” was adopted by academics in the 1960s to describe southern Africa’s hunter-gatherer peoples, an all-embracing term incorporating both the present and, crucially, the past. It was seen as a suitable replacement for “bushman” which had come to have a pejorative meaning, denoting not only difference but inferiority. But, as it turns out, “San” is also a contested word, and in certain contexts probably just as disparaging.

Quite apart from scholarly usage, “San” has come to be used as an expression of identity among certain groups seeking their rights as southern Africa’s “first nation”. “In this sense the word ‘San’ equates and strengthens a sense of ethnicity,” Weintroub says. “It symbolises a way of fighting for resources, but to project it back into the past is an anachronism.”

Accordingly, since the 1980s some scholars have gradually returned to using the word “bushman” though rock art specialists still use the term “San”.

“It’s not just the word that is contested, but the whole idea of making it a category of people,” says Wright, a historian who has been working on the history of the bushmen of the Maloti-Drakensberg since 1965. “It is used as a blanket description for a whole range of peoples with different languages. San is a 20th century term; to use it now is an anachronism. Just as it makes no sense to talk of Zulus 500 years ago; Zulu was a term that only began to be widely used after the emergence of the Zulu kingdom in the 1820s.”

Wintjes says the term is used in the exhibition and the book to denote a specific identity. “We simply didn’t have a better term in this context than ‘bushman’. There is no replacement for that word – but we have worked towards using it in more nuanced ways. We also use this term for its continuity with eighteenth and nineteenth-century sources, and to connect back to a time of searching for categories. We use it in a non-ethnic, non-tribal sense.”

Wright agrees: “San is a modern ethnic term – echoing an imagined tribal past. It’s part of the whole tribal paradigm that South Africa is currently caught up in, which in itself is highly problematic.”

Over the years Bushmen have also accrued a layer of romanticism, seen by some as living fossils from some Edenic golden age when human beings lived in harmony with their natural environment. Wright is having none of that: “The whole notion of ‘ancientism’ is rubbish, they are as much a part of modern history as we are.”

Some conversations are always going to be difficult, especially when different levels of discourse – popular, activist, and academic – intersect but are talking at cross-purposes. Qing and Orpen relied on interpreters and Orpen’s article arose out of that problematic process. Now comes the book and the exhibition.

“Both are primarily on the backstory, production, and afterlife of a particular text – Orpen’s crucial article on the stories that Qing told him,” Wright says. “We are trying to open up historical questions.”

And both go further than previously in looking at the text, Weintroub says. “The published text is taken as authoritative. But there are differences between the published text and Orpen’s original manuscript.”

These discrepancies have been scrutinised by folklorist De Prada-Samper. His findings, drawn from both the manuscript and the published text, feature in what is the largest section of the book and present much new information. Of particular note are his interpretations regarding beliefs surrounding snakes, the nature of the rain-creature, and another dimension that relates to a complex of beliefs “very widespread in southern Africa and beyond, about an underwater world that very often, though not always, is connected with the world of the spirits of the dead”.

“José’s work is the central element of the book,” Wright says. “José’s rethinking will attract attention.”

According to Wintjes the book and exhibition serve to fill a gap in scholarship, as few of the studies on Orpen’s article place it within a wider historical context.

The book came first. “It existed as a project five years ago,” Wintjes says. “When Barbara Freemantle, curator of the Standard Bank Art Gallery, heard about it she said it would make for a great exhibition. So, in part, the exhibition facilitated publication of the book – but it also extended the content of the book into a different mode of exposition. The book is illustrated in service of the text, but with the exhibition we move out of a textual mode.”

The exhibition features rarely seen examples of rock engravings, paintings and bushman artefacts, as well as activist T-shirts side by side with nineteenth-century artworks by Thomas Baines, Andrew Anderson, George Angas and others, some especially restored by Standard Bank for the exhibition.

Also on display are a variety of manuscripts, including a reproduction of Orpen’s original, books, and some spectacular photographs by Hollmann of the rock art sites where Qing and Orpen held their conversations.

Men Catching Snake
A digitally enhanced photograph of an image from Sehonghong Shelter identified by Qing as depicting “men … under water” catching a “snake” with “charms” and a “long reim” (sic). Another nineteenth century informant said the paintings depict “rainmaking”. Source: Jeremy Hollman.

Objects and artworks are placed in interesting juxtapositions, adding further layers to Qing and Orpen’s interaction. “There are objects from the Wits Art Museum and these are in a cabinet that is an echo of the nineteenth-century ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’. Next to them is a display of a selection of the many the books that have come out of their encounter. So this library display situated next to a museum storage mode of display generates new meanings, for example turning books into objects of material culture. We are asking questions in that kind of way.”

The exhibits are interspersed with short texts, often inconclusive and open-ended. “They throw questions back to the engaged viewer,” Wintjes says.

Exhibition and book explore the encounter of Qing and Orpen from various perspectives: history, archaeology, folklore and ethnography, linguistics, art and art history.

Both book and exhibition pivot on Orpen’s text and the agreement among the scholars involved that there was far more to be mined from it.
Linguist Du Plessis teased out the linguistic evidence “while attempting occasionally to ‘walk the text back’ in an effort to uncover particular words that may have been used either by Qing or the interpreters”.

“The information that Orpen transmitted for us includes around two dozen words from Qing’s ‘own language’,” Du Plessis says, and from these “small shards” she was able to ascertain that Qing’s language “was suffused with elements from both Khoekhoe and southern Bantu languages … while others must have been present from the outset in the broader !Ui family to which his language probably belonged”.
Weintroub sifted the history of the text and its place in knowledge production. “Scholars tend to use it as a repository of information to back up certain interpretative material,” she says. “But I wanted to look at its history as an archival object with a trajectory of its own in relation to epochs or paradigms of thought at different times.”

“This text came out of a brief, ephemeral encounter between two people long ago, but look at what it has given. The scholarly work on it is massive. That encounter was very short but it has inspired so much.”

Doubtless it will inspire more. Wright says: “This book and exhibition are not the final word on the subject. This is not a closed account.”

The exhibition is showing at the Standard Bank Art Gallery until the end of the year. The book On the Trail of Qing and On the trail of Qing and Orpen – From the Colonial Era to the Present Orpen is published by Standard Bank.

Related stories:

Book details
On the Trail of Qing and Orpen

  • On the Trail of Qing and Orpen by José Manuel de Prada-Samper, Menán du Plessis, Jeremy Hollmann, Jill Weintroub, Justine Wintjes, John Wright
    EAN: 9780620688451
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Dorothea Bleek

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William Kentridge calls out Europe’s ‘incredible greed and selfishness’ towards its former colonies


Accounts and Drawings from UndergroundThe Soho Chronicles : 10 Films by William KentridgeSix Drawing LessonsNo, It Is
A Universal ArchiveWilliam Kentridge: The Refusal of TimeWilliam KentridgeThe Swan Whisperer


William Kentridge has spoken out against Europe’s hypocrisy in relation to its colonial legacy and the current immigration debate.

Kentridge was speaking to German publication Art Das Kunstmagazin ahead of the opening of his interdisciplinary exhibition NO, IT IS at Martin Gropius Bau.

NO, IT IS, which ran in South Africa at the Goodman Gallery and Fourthwall Books in 2013, runs until 21 August in Berlin, and will include a series of lecture-performances by the 61-year-old artist in July, as part of the Foreign Affairs Festival at Berliner Festspiele in West Berlin.

The interview in question deals with Kentridge’s work, his artistic process and his familial relationship with Germany, before he is asked finally, and rather abruptly, whether South Africans read about refugees in Europe.

He replies:

From the outside it looks absurd. For 300 years Europe took everything it could get from its colonies and is directly responsible for the structures of these countries. And now that these people knock on Europe’s door, it shuts down and behaves as if it would generous to let in a tiny, tiny part of this population on whom it inflicted such damage. It is not as if the population of Europe would suddenly grow by 20 or 30 percent, it is about a fraction of a percent. From the outside it looks like incredible greed and selfishness.

Kentridge’s career began in the late 1970s and gained international acclaim for his palimpsest-style short film series 9 Drawings for Projection. He often deals with the nature of colonial power in his artworks, which are among the most sought-after and valuable by a South African artist.

His The Refusal of Time installation toured Cape Town and Johannesburg last year, and he was named Artist of the Year at the 2015 Apollo Awards.

He also illustrated The Swan Whisperer, a genre-bending cahier by Marlene van Niekerk, published last year as part of The Cahiers Series.

Related stories:

Book details

  • Accounts and Drawings from Underground: The East Rand Proprietary Mines Cash Book, 1906 by William Kentridge, Rosalind C Morris
    EAN: 9780857422057
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Image courtesy of The Telegraph

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Bellagio Center Residency Award winners include Lauren Beukes, Tsitsi Dangarembga and Victor Ehikhamenor

Bellagio Center Residency Award winners include Lauren Beukes, Tsitsi Dangarembga and Victor Ehighale Ehikhamenor

Alert! The Africa Centre has announced the five artists selected by The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center as part of its 2015 Artists In Residency Programme.

Books LIVE congratulates the three writers on the list: Lauren Beukes, Tsitsi Dangarembga and Victor Ehighale Ehikhamenor.

Dangarembga is the author of the critically acclaimed novels and The Book of Not and Nervous Conditions, but is also a filmmaker. Late last year Umuzi announced that she will be producing a film adaptation of Imran Garda’s novel The Thunder That Roars.

Victor Ehikhamenor is an award winning visual artist, writer and photographer based in Nigeria and the United States. He was the cover designer for Stranger, a recently released debut poetry collection by Sihle Ntuli.

Excuse Me!Nervous ConditionsBroken Monsters


The Africa Centre received a record 423 complete applications from 40 countries for its Artists In Residency programme in 2015, from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe, as well as Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Madagascar, Rwanda and Sudan. 68 artists were shortlisted in December.

The Africa Centre announced the winners of its Artists In Residency Programme in February, including writers Masande Ntshanga from South Africa and Nana Oforiatta Ayim from Ghana.

But after receiving a large number of applications, across artistic disciplines, The Africa Centre also shortlisted 24 artists on behalf of the Bellagio Center.

Based on their specific interests, the following artists have been selected:

  • Lauren Beukes (author, South Africa)
  • Tsitsi Dangarembga (author and filmmaker, Zimbabwe)
  • Victor Ehighale Ehikhamenor (author and visual artist, Nigeria)
  • Yared Zeleke (filmmaker, Ethiopia)
  • Fathy Adly Salama (performing artist, Egypt)


The addition of these five artists mean a total to 14 have been accepted into nine different residencies around the world as part of the 2015 Artists In Residency programme.

The Africa Centre will release more information about the artists over the next couple of weeks. The call for 2016 applications will go out in the second half of the year.

Related stories:

Book details

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Jacob Dlamini and Imraan Coovadia among the winners at the inaugural NIHSS Book, Creative and Digital Awards

Jacob Dlamini and Imraan Coovadia among the winners at the inaugural NIHSS Book, Creative and Digital Awards


Alert! The inaugural National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) Book, Creative and Digital Awards ceremony took place last night in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Winners included Jacob Dlamini for Askari (Jacana Media); Imraan Coovadia for Tales of the Metric System (Umuzi); the 2014 Short Sharp Stories Award anthology Adults Only, edited by Joanne Hichens; and recent UKZN Press publication Class in Soweto.

AskariTales of the Metric SystemAdults OnlyClass in Soweto


Awards were also handed out in the categories Digital Humanities and Creative Collections. Each award is valued at R60,000.

Submissions for the awards were open to academics from the humanities and social sciences, as well as creative curators and artists based at South African universities, in any of South Africa’s official languages.

The NIHSS is funded by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

From the NIHSS:

The awards will honour and celebrate outstanding, innovative and socially responsive scholarship, creative and digital contributions that advance in the humanities and social sciences fields. The awards are consequently a platforms to laud outstanding contributions to the humanities and social sciences through scholarly and creative work.

Through its core functions of enhancing and coordinating scholarship, research and ethical practice in humanities and social sciences, the NIHSS seeks to redress existing deficits and also coordinates programmes, projects, collaboration and activities in the humanities and social sciences disciplines through existing public universities.

Ashraf Garda was the master of ceremonies, and the keynote address was given by Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande.

Jacob Dlamini and Imraan Coovadia among the winners at the inaugural NIHSS Book, Creative and Digital AwardsNzimande expressed his delight at the overwhelming response and high standard of entries that the awards received from academics and other practitioners in the field.

“A renewed focus on the importance of the humanities and social sciences is absolutely critical in a world that increasingly values the Sciences, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) as the only measure of development and progress,” Nzimande said.

“The role of the humanities and social sciences must not only assist us in analysing and interpreting the world we live in, but it must enable us to change the material conditions and lived experiences of those most marginalised and alienated in society.”

The judges summations were given by Joyce Myeza (Digital Humanities), Thembinkosi Goniwe (Creative Collections), Shireen Hassim (Books: Non-fiction), and Pumla Dineo Gqola (Books: Fiction)

Winners: Books

Winner Best Non-fiction Monograph:

Jacob Dlamini for Askari

(Shortlisted: Isabel Hofmeyr for Gandhi’s Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading, Stephanus Muller for Nagmusiek, Corrine Sandwith for A World of Letters: Reading Communities and Cultural Debates in Early Apartheid South Africa)

Winner Best Non-fiction Edited Volume:

Class in Soweto, edited by Peter Alexander, Claire Ceruti, Keke Motseke, Mosa Phadi and Kim Wale

(Shortlisted: Peter Delius, Laura Phillips and Fiona Rankin-Smith for A Long Way Home: Migrant Worker Worlds 1800-2014, Salim Vally and Enver Motala for Education, Economy and Society)

Winner Best Single Authored Fiction (novel, short stories, poetry, drama):

Imraan Coovadia for Tales of the Metric System

(Shortlisted: Antjie Krog for Mede-wete, Bishop Makobe for Tsa Ngweding wa Letopanta)

Winner Edited Fiction Volume:

Adults Only, edited by Joanne Hichens

(Shortlisted: Amitabh Mitra and Naomi Nkealah for Splinters of a Mirage Dawn: An Anthology of Migrant Poetry from South Africa)

Winners: Digital Humanities

Best Digital Humanities Tool or Suite of Tools:

Nirma Madhoo-Chipps for Future Body: Technological Embodiment in Digital Fashion Media

Best Digital Humanities Project for Community Engagement:

Shirley Walters and Astrid von Kotze for Popular Education

Creative Collections

Best Public Performance:

Jay Pather for Live Art Festival

Best Musical Composition/Arrangement:

Sazi Dlamini, Neo Muyanga, Sumangala Damodaran, Ari Sitas (produced by Jürgen Bräuninger) for Insurrections

* * * * *

Watch a video from the event:

YouTube Preview Image
* * * * *

View some tweets from the event:

Book details

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36 musicians and artists collaborate on an Ingrid Jonker tribute album – join the crowdfunding campaign



36 artists have contributed to an album of music celebrating legendary poet Ingrid Jonker.

The compilation Die Kind is Nog Jonger (The Child Is Still Younger) is scheduled for release in early May, spearheaded by Jonker’s daughter Simone and her husband Ernesto Garcia Marques as part of the 50-year commemoration of the poet’s death in 1965, when she committing suicide by drowning.

The selected musicians hail from all over the world, including South Africa, the UK, USA and Germany, and cover a range of genres, from rock, pop, acoustic and metal, to folk, electronic and spoken word.

Flame in the SnowVlam in die sneeu

You can become a part of the project via its IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, and earn perks such as:

  • instant downloads
  • pre-releases and double disc CDs
  • personalised postcards from Ingrid Jonker’s daughter Simone
  • personalised thank you listing in the CD sleeve and online
  • limited edition T-shirts
  • Copies of Flame in the Snow/Vlam in die Sneeu (new Umuzi publication of love letters between Ingrid Jonker and fellow acclaimed writer André Brink – pictured above)
  • executive producer credit
  • limited edition vinyl LP version (featuring a dozen selected tracks)
  • original artwork from acclaimed artist Vernon Swart (whose ocean scene is used as the album cover)


Hear samples of all 3-dozen amazing tracks:

Die Kind Is Nog Jonger will be released by Sound Action and Flamedrop Productions.

The artists include: Anton Goosen, Jennifer Ferguson, Kalahari Surfers, Falling Mirror, Inge Beckmann, Terminatryx, Ingrid Jonger and Tim Parr, Ernestine Deane, Stefan Strydom & Gert Vlok Nel, Abraham van GeenBybel, Rambling Bones, Andrew Kay, Zaria, mike dickman, Tonia Möller, Wilde Junge (Wild Youth), André Van Rensburg, The SlashDogs, The Sighs of Monsters, Die Naaimasjiene, Tribe After Tribe’s Robbie Rob, Jim Neversink, Beeskraal Revival, Daniel Eeuwrick, Somerfaan, Anne Van Schothorst, Ivan Kadey, Radio Rats, Die Kruis, Eckard Potgieter, Victor S Wolf, Juliana Venter, Dirk Ace, The CapTn (featuring Julie Hartley), Mavis Vermaak, The McClones.

Book details

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Aardklop National Arts Festival ‘terminated with immediate effect in its current format’


The Aardklop board of directors have announced that the Aardklop National Arts Festival has been “terminated” and will take a new direction.

The festival, which has taken place annually in Potchefstroom since 1998, focused predominantly on Afrikaans literature, theatre, dance, music, cabaret and visual arts.

Louise Barretto, chairperson of Aardklop and the Aardklop Foundation, says: “After 18 years the question is if a festival is the best vehicle to support the arts in the current environment.

“In an industry where festivals play an almost exclusive role in sustaining the performing arts, the board realised that it is vital to innovate. We are looking at the development of new and fresh initiatives that will make a dynamic contribution to the preservation, advancement and support of the arts. The emphasis will still be on quality.”

Festival CEO Andries Vrey says an announcement regarding new initiatives will be made in the near future.

Press release:

The Aardklop National Arts Festival, based in Potchefstroom since 1998, will be terminated with immediate effect in its current format.

This announcement has been made by the board of directors of Aardklop. The Aardklop Foundation will in the future focus on new, innovative models to continue its support and advancement of the performing arts.

“The festival has made a huge contribution supporting the performing arts, but in the arts industry it is necessary to be creative and innovative. After 18 years the question is if a festival is the best vehicle to support the arts in the current environment,” said adv. Louise Barretto, Chairperson of Aardklop and the Aardklop Foundation.

“In an industry where festivals play an almost exclusive role in sustaining the performing arts, the board realised that it is vital to innovate. We are looking at the development of new and fresh initiatives that will make a dynamic contribution to the preservation, advancement and support of the arts. The emphasis will still be on quality.”

On behalf of the board Barretto expressed her gratitude towards festivalgoers, artists, sponsors and other friends of Aardklop, who have enthusiastically supported and attended the festival since its inception.

Andries Vrey, CEO of the festival, thanked Potchefstroom for its partnership over the past 18 years.

“Thanks to the legendary hospitality of our host and its community festivalgoers descended on Aardklop year after year to celebrate the arts in this friendly city.”

Vrey also conveyed his gratitude towards the employees and collaborators of the festival.

In 2011 Clover entered into a five-year contract with Aardklop and came on board as the title sponsor.

“Clover took the festival to new heigts and played a leading role in the success of the festival. Without the support of Clover, and all the generous contributions of other sponsors through the years, the industry would have been a lot poorer. We are thankful that Clover has decided to renew it’s sponsorship to support us in our new initiatives, and look forward to an exciting new relationship with Clover and our other loyal sponsors”, Vrey said.

According to Vrey an announcement regarding the new model and initiatives, already commencing this year, will be made in the near future.


» read article

Presenting the winners of the 2015/2016 Western Cape Cultural Affairs Awards

Last week, the 2015/2016 Western Cape Cultural Affairs Awards were presented to individuals and organisations who make positive contributions in the province.

Awards were given in different categories, including Arts and Culture, Museums, Language, Heritage, Libraries, Archives and Geographical Names. Three special Minister’s Awards were also presented.

Among the winners were Lyrical Base Project, “for the work that they do in the development of young poets and writers”; Ria Olivier, who took home the Neville Alexander Award for the Promotion of Multilingualism and Watu Kobese, who won the Best contribution to Language Development for his development of the isiXhosa terminology for chess pieces and moves, a first of its kind initiative.

Five library awards were handed out, with Bellville Public Library winning Best Large Public Library, as a “shining example of moving with the times and adapting to the changing demographics and effects of urbanisation”.

Western Cape Cultural Affairs and Sport Minister Anroux Marais congratulated all winners and nominees on the evening, saying: “These awards offer an opportunity to acknowledge the diversity of the cultural landscape with great pride.

“Celebrate our colourful Western Cape Province with us tonight. Feel and be proud of our historical, cultural and linguistic heritage. I believe our beauty lies in our diversity. The things we have in common are more than those things that set us apart, and the sooner we all realise this, the better.

“We need to get to a point where we understand and tolerate each other regardless of our differences. We need to get to a point where we celebrate our diversity and work together towards a socially inclusive nation.”


Read the press release to see who took home the prizes:

* * * * * * *

The Western Cape Cultural Affairs Awards are held annually to celebrate individuals and organisations in the Western Cape who make a positive contribution in the Cultural Affairs sector. Awards have been given to organisations and individuals who have made a profound impact within the Arts, Culture, Language, Heritage, Museums, Archives, Geographical Names and Libraries sectors in the province over the years.

Below are the 2015/16 award winners in each category:


  • 1. Best contribution to Visual Arts, including Public Arts

Central Art Library, for the work they are doing in the field of visual arts and public arts, which is evident in their creative expression of different visual art exhibitions held in the Central Library gallery.

  • 2. Best contribution to Performing Arts: Dance

Sbonakaliso Ndaba, a performer, choreographer and a teacher that has been on the fore-front of the developing contemporary African dance in the Western Cape. Her current work with Indoni Dance Arts and Leadership is evident of her expertise in the field of contemporary dance and has become a driving force behind this initiative.

  • 3. Best contribution to Performing Arts: Drama

Thamsanqa “Tamie” Mbongo, Thamsamqa has contributed extensively in the development of Drama in various communities in the Western Cape over the years. He has achieved this through individual and collaborative projects and programmes with various stakeholders.

  • 4. Best contribution to the Performing Arts: Music

David Wickham, contributed to the development and popularisation of Steelbands in the urban and rural communities of the Western Cape. the bands that he has developed can be found in areas such as Riebeek Kasteel, Vredenberg, Clan William, Langa and Mithcell’s Plain.


Lungile Jacobs, has contributed extensively to the development of Choral Music in the Western Cape. He was also instrumental in the formation of WCCMA and CMFSA which are organisations that advocate and lobby for choral music provincially and nationally.

  • 5. Best contribution to the Literary Arts (including poetry, prose, play-writing)

Lyrical Base Project, for the work that they do in the development of young poets and writers. The project is also engaged in developing spoken word writers among primary school children, and also assists them with reading and writing.

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  • 6. Best contribution to Crafts and/or Design

Mark Jeneker, is well-established and an accomplished crafter himself. He does sustainable work in terms of development arts and crafts. One of his projects includes arts and crafts classes at the Central Art Library.

  • 7. Best contribution to the promotion of Cultural Activities

Balu Nuvision, has done impressive work in the development of the arts in the Western Cape in the past 30 years. She is both a teacher and an arts activist; she’s also been part of the formation of Indoni Dance Arts and Leadership


Brenda Skelenge, a teacher and a cultural activist. The work that she does focuses on bringing tourists to cultural and creative events in Khayelitsha. She is also using her house as a cultural hub where people can come and listen or watch performances from various local and established performers and music bands.

  • 8. Best Project: Disability in the Visual, Performing and Literary Arts

Unmute Dance Company, a mixed ability dance group, the only integrated contemporary dance company currently active in the Western Cape.

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  • 9. Best project to Promote and Preserve an Indigenous Art Form

Die Nuwe Graskoue Trappers, traditional Riel Dance is recognised as the oldest dance form in South Africa and a creative cultural expression. The revival of traditional Riel dance in and around Wupperthal is a community initiative. The troupe made their debut with much success at the annual Riel Dance Championship final in December 2013, where they became the ATKV Junior Riel Dance Champions 2013. In April 2015 they qualified for the South Africa Champions of Performing Arts and came home with “Grand Champion Award 2015” for “Best Group performance” as well as four gold Medals and the “Overall Trophy Award”

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  • 1. Best Museum

Genadendal Mission Museum for the work done by their Youth Forum, which was launched on International Museums Day. The forum meets every second Saturday, and was involved in setting up and planning the 2015 annual Heritage Day exhibition opening. Special focus was placed on the youth and what they could take away from their experience in the group and getting more involved at the Genadendal Museum.

  • 2. Best New Museum Project

Music van de Caab Exhibition, Solms-Delta Wine Estate, well known as one of the country’s most progressive wine estates. In 2005 they established the Wijn de Caab Trust to benefit the 200 historically disadvantaged residents and employees. A major part of the transformation was the opening of a Museum in October 2005 which tells the stories of the indigenous inhabitants, colonial setters, slaves and the experiences of apartheid of the present day workers on the farm.

  • 3. Best Museum Volunteer

Dr I Balie, who is still actively involved in guiding visitors and tour groups, where and when needed at the Museum. Some visiting groups specifically requested to have Dr Balie as their tour guide. With his extensive knowledge of all artefacts on displays he still plays a key role in the digitization of the collection by guiding the auditing staff members.


  • 1. Neville Alexander Award for the Promotion of Multilingualism

Ria Olivier, served as chair of the Western Cape Language Committee for the past three years. As member, she is a very proactive activist for language rights, specifically Afrikaans. Hard working behind the scenes, Ria Olivier promotes bilingualism, especially for isiXhosa.

  • 2. Best contribution to Language Development

Watu Kobese, identified a need for a Chess booklet in isiXhosa and worked together with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport to develop the isiXhosa terminology for chess pieces and moves, a first of its kind initiative.


  • 1. Best Heritage Project

Dr Jayson Orton, Namakwa Sands, for his work at the Namakwa Sands Mine on the west coast of the Western Cape. Dr Orson conducted a program of survey and excavation across the property, turning a cultural resource management project into a research project. He went beyond expectations in his mitigation of mining impacts in Namaqualand by converting the rescue excavation into a sustainable research project.

  • 2. Best Heritage Impact Assessment or Heritage Report

Chris Snelling for Paardevlei Precint 3 HIA, This HIA (Heritage Impact Assessment) is regarded as an excellent current example of its type. It effectively integrates structures, landscapes and context into an understanding of the significance of heritage resources.


  • 1. Best Public Library: Children’s Services

Mount Pleasant Public Library for the Reading project they intensively continued with this year. Despite a limited staff component and room space they were able to help the children of the community with their reading abilities.

  • 2. Best Public Library: Youth Services

Kensington Public Library, for the significant strides made in contributing towards the development of the community, particularly the youth, offering opportunities like the sewing club, computer literacy and a career expo.

  • 3. Best Small Public Library (1-3 staff members)

Prince Albert Library. Despite the fact that this was the only nomination, Prince Albert Public Library impressed the panel with the overwhelming support they received from the local community with the nomination. The help they provided to the animal welfare society as well as their support to the library in the local prison were much appreciated. They did exceptionally well during the annual Leesfees.

  • 4. Best Medium-sized Public Library (4-8 staff members)

Masiphumulele Public Library, City of Cape Town, they have grown in leaps and bounds in the last couple of years, with amazing projects from Fine Arts to Ikama Youth partnership, as well as reaching out internationally.

  • 5. Best Large Public Library (9+ staff members)

Bellville Public Library, City of Cape Town, a shining example of moving with the times and adapting to the changing demographics and effects of urbanisation. Out of the box thinking like the Takeaways Services to deal with the parking challenges; the outreach in the Home Affairs Queue; and the amazing work that they are doing living up to their motto ‘Sensational Customer Service’.


  • 1. Archives Advocacy Award

Archival Platform, a Civil Society organisation that is committed to deepening democracy through the use of memory and Archives as dynamic public resources. They conduct research in various aspects of Archives and Records management.

  • 2. Most Influential Person in Records Management

Juliana Vercueil and the Registry Team, Western Cape Liquor Authority, which is a newly established organisation, and within the three years since its establishment, Ms Vercueil and her team has established a fully functioning Registry unit within the Authority. She has also been involved in a specialised project that needed to be complete in a short period of time, which is commendable.

  • 3. Best Contributor to Archival Heritage

Erika le Roux and the Client Information Services of Western Cape Archives and Records Service, their greatest contribution lies in a well-organised reading room, their interaction with the researchers and support to them. First- hand knowledge are shared. They incite researchers to come back due to the service provided, including research support. There is a great knowledge of information capsulated in data resources. On a day to day basis they promote the Archives with enthusiasm and professionalism.


  • 1. Best contribution to the Standardisation and/or Public Awareness of Geographical Names

The Naming Committee, (Brett Herron, Chair) and the Public Participation Unit of the City of Cape Town, for their work done to ensure that an extensive public participation process was conducted to invite names for the seven unnamed footbridges over Nelson Mandela Boulevard and Rhodes Avenue. They initiated and followed through an extensive consultation campaign involving all players to name the seven bridges. The final choice represents the most diverse set of names, reflecting the city’s diverse history, heritage and culture.


  • 1. Outstanding Achievement of Women in the Arts and Culture, Language, Heritage, Geographical Names, Museums, Libraries or Archives

Balu Nivision, for her tireless commitment to the community via the creative arts, thereby effecting change in traumatised individuals and communities plagued by adversity. She co-founded the INDONI ACADEMY, which helps to transform the lives of young people. She does therapeutic interventions with the use of dance, music therapy and art.

  • 2. Outstanding Achievement of Youth in Arts and Culture, Language, Heritage, Geographical Names, Museums, Libraries or Archives

Kronendal Music Academy of Hout Bay, for their long-term commitment to caring for the needs of children from all walks of like, which helps to create cross cultural solidarity. They provide a home away from home for children from troubled backgrounds, where they can be nourished physically and emotionally. They are consistently innovating new ways to improve their service to the Hout Bay Community.

  • 3. Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Culture, Language, Heritage, Geographical Names, Museums, Libraries or Archives

Jennifer van Papendorp, who has worked in the Arts and Culture field in the Western Cape since 1981 and for the past 34 years has contributed in many ways. She has worked as a dancer with Jazzart Dance Theatre, Southern women, Abamanyani, and Somatic Jam. She has taught thousands of young people, adults and teachers over the years. She has lectured in movement and Dance Technique and Theory for the Western Cape Tertiary institutions. She also served as a WCED principle Subject Advisor and Curriculum planner in Arts and Culture and Dance Studies. She co-established the first Artscape Schools Festival and produced a number of public performances for the Focus School learners in professional theatres. She also collaborated with the Department of Culture Affairs and Sport in helping to set up and supervise the WCED branch of the MOD dance programme in seven schools.

  • 4. National and International Contributions in Arts and Culture, Language, Heritage, Geographical Names, Museums, Libraries or Archives

Die Nuwe Graskoue Trappers, Traditional Riel Dance is recognised as the oldest dance form in South Africa and a creative cultural expression. The revival of traditional Riel dance in and around Wupperthal is a community initiative. The troupe made their debut with much success at the annual Riel Dance Championship final in December 2013, where they became the ATKV Junior Riel Dance Champions 2013. In April 2015 they qualified for the south Africa Champions of Performing Arts and came home with “Grand Champion Award 2015” for “Best Group performance” as well as four gold Medals and the “Overall Trophy Award”

Minister Marais congratulated all winners and nominees on the evening, and said “These awards offer an opportunity to acknowledge the diversity of the cultural landscape with great pride. Celebrate our colourful Western Cape Province with us tonight. Feel and be proud of our historical, cultural and linguistic heritage. I believe our beauty lies in our diversity. The things we have in common are more than those things that set us apart, and the sooner we all realise this, the better. We need to get to a point where we understand and tolerate each other regardless of our differences. We need to get to a point where we celebrate our diversity and work together towards a socially inclusive nation.”


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Ishtiyaq Shukri calls for UK, US and South Africa to reassess Saudi ties after ‘inhumane’ punishment of poet Ashraf Fayadh

Ashraf Fayadh

Yesterday it was announced that a Saudi Arabian court had altered the death sentence for Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh to an eight-year prison term and 800 lashes on charges of apostasy.

Ishtiyaq Shukri, author of the 2004 European Union Literary Award-winning novel The Silent Minaret and I See You, campaigned strongly against Fayadh’s death sentence. In a piece he has shared with Books LIVE, Shukri says his relief on hearing of its reversal was short-lived.


Read the piece:

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Reduced sentence and flogging of Ashraf Fayadh

Like all those who campaigned against the death sentence handed down to the Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh by a court in Saudi Arabia last year, I was at first relieved when I heard that the death sentence had been quashed. But my sense of relief was brief, dissipating instantly in the face of the reduced sentence of eight years in prison and 800 lashes. Who survives 800 lashes? The Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi, sentenced to 10 years and 1 000 lashes, thought it was a miracle he survived the first 50 lashes. Badawi remains in prison, where the remaining 950 lashes are still to be administered – 50 lashes, every Friday, for 19 weeks, once lashing resumes.

These punishments are protracted death sentences drawn out to extend over many years. They are cruel, horrific and unacceptable punishments, which detract from our shared humanity and diminish us all. I can’t recall feeling such relief and such dread so simultaneously and in such equal measure. In a single moment upon receiving the news of Fayadh’s reduced sentence, I inhaled hope but exhaled despair at the ordeal handed down to Fayadh. What conflicting emotions must Fayadh himself have felt? Where is the mercy in that?

The responsibility for such inhumanity as that, which faces Fayadh, rests primarily with Saudi Arabia, but not exclusively. Responsibility for such human rights abuses in the kingdom must also be placed with its allies and trading partners, among others, the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa, which is actively stepping up trade ties with Saudi Arabia. It is time for all of them to rethink their positions, and to ask crucial moral questions about their continued allegiance with the kingdom.

Examples of Saudi hubris, excess and exceptionalism are mounting. The ongoing Saudi-led war in Yemen – being enabled with US and British weapons and military expertise – the mass executions of 47 people including Sheikh Nimr Al Nimr in Saudi Arabia last month, the ongoing detention of human rights activists like Raif Badawi in the kingdom, and now this inhumane revised punishment handed down to Fayadh, should serve as prompts for men and women of conscience around the world to reassess their ties with Saudi Arabia the brutal, Saudi Arabia the merciless. Where people of good conscience lead, corporations and governments must be made to follow.

Ishtiyaq Shukri
3 February 2016

Image credit: PEN South Africa

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