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Cape Town re-infected … in the nicest possible way

Infecting The City, South Africa’s pioneering public art festival of music, dance, video, visual art, and ‘the spectacular’, is back and all of it free of charge.

A collaboration between UCT’s Institute for the Creative Arts (ICA) and venues, institutes, and organisations across Cape Town, Infecting The City “places the keys to the city in the hands of its artists, and redefines the ambition of what a smart city can be”.

“An immersive experience to reclaim the streets of Cape Town with enchanting performances of excellence in the public realm”, the festival runs from 15-19 November and 22-25 November 2023.

With a theme of social activism, this year’s festival is curated by Professor Jay Pather, Nkgopoleng Moloi, Maganthrie Pillay and Themba Stewart.

Jay Pather, ICA Director, said: “Infecting the City Public Art Festival has always been a modest, tentative yet powerful looking glass into a state of nation.

“Artists take up with great enthusiasm and rigour the possibility of interacting directly with an open space and an unpredictable audience.

“The artwork always feels immediate and direct, allowing currents for electric interaction as well as reflection as one walks on to the next performance and the next chance encounter.”

Take a peak at what is on offer:

This is a collaborative contribution towards efforts concerned with pulling African languages and culture from the obscurity of the margins of society to the centre. The presentation entails a reading of a chapter from an isiXhosa collection of short stories, Don Jadu by S. E. K. Mqhayi, which will be in conversation with Mthunzikazi Mbungwana’s poem, Ihambo … a century after this was written, black South Africans are still dealing with questions of dignity and humanness under a black, democratic government. Black African intellectuals have been engaging with many of these questions for so long … yet this status quo continues. Nomakrestu Xakathugaga enters the conversation with a musical performance and the presentation will close with a short discussion with audiences.

Azure Orange is a choreographed work inspired by Sello Duiker’s Thirteen Cents. Toby Ngomane notes: “To the little boys we have been who have gotten us this far, we owe them soft men, kind men. These boys are owed the knowledge that the men we have become are moving in seas of joy and beautiful abandon. The fights they have had to fight did not harden us, but instead softened us to create safer worlds. Internally and externally. I think the little boys who have gotten us here are owed the work of pushing ourselves to meet ourselves honestly. Always working to be versions of us they could believe in, could feel safe with. Those little boys deserve softer homes to return to, softer hearts. We are building softer hearts.”

I=Looks irresistible huh? Full programme

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