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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Infecting the City – HOME AFFAIRS – 21-27 February

Infecting the CityINFECTING THE CITY (ITC), The Spier Performing Arts Festival, is a festival of provocative new site-specific performance works, presented by The Africa Centre, which will take place in the Cape Town CBD from 21-27 February 2009. The Festival is themed HOME AFFAIRS

Infecting the City is curated by award-winning writer, director and designer Brett Bailey (his Third World Bunfight has produced iMumbo Jumbo, Ipi Zombi? and Big Dada). The broad theme of HOME AFFAIRS that underlies the 2009 festival, investigates issues of immigrant vs citizen, insider vs outsider, inclusion and exclusion, with unavoidable reference to the xenophobic tensions that constantly simmer in southern Africa.

The majority of productions on the programme will be presented free to the public in communal spaces within walking distance of one another in the Cape Town city during the daytime, allowing audiences to take an historical and creative tour of the City and the spaces in-between. The rest of the programme events are reasonably ticketed at various non-theatre venues during the day and in the evening.

An innovative component of Infecting the City 2009 is the creation of collaborative works made by teams of artists from Europe, South Africa and some SADC countries.

The collaborative process begins well before the festival, with a five week residency in Cape Town, during which the collaborators will be exposed to an intense pressure cooker course of situations and circumstances to stimulate thought and creativity. The rest of the festival programme also reflects both local and international performance works, with a visual highlight being Tuning the Void; an aerial performance by French company, Retouramont.

Previously held at Spier, The Spier Performing Arts Festival was relocated to the City in 2008 and is now named Infecting the City. This year, ITC will continue to push the boundaries of performance and festival programming, turning the Cape Town CBD into an edgy theatre venue to exhibit diverse, thought-provoking, well-crafted works that also forge important links with international performing arts networks.

The festival is a significant event both for the performing arts in South Africa and for Cape Town as a creative, iconic city. Many European visitors, so familiar with the notion of site-specific performance, will instantly relate to Infecting the City, whilst Capetonians will be intrigued to discover the hidden spaces and unexpected perspectives on their hometown.

The timing of the festival is well placed to mirror other significant creative events for Cape Town; Design Indaba and the Spier Harvest Festival. ITC will also coincide with the Cape Town Partnership’s Retail Therapy encouraging the people of Cape Town and its visitors to explore the city and the spaces in between.

Booking enquiries can be made by contacting Felicia at The Africa Centre on 021 422 0468.

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Word Weavers Gather for Spier Poetry Exchange

Spier Poetry ExchangeFor five exciting days, from 29 January to 02 February 2008, the Spier Poetry Exchange will offer Cape Town audiences a celebration of the word – written, spoken, sung and even explored on screen, bringing together 14 inspired solo performances and 4 collaborative productions by local and international wordsmiths.

The Poetry Exchange is presented in collaboration with Winternachten, the well-known writers network based in The Hague.

This is the first of three Spier Arts Festivals, which represent the re-birth of the Spier Arts Summer Season under the umbrella of the Africa Centre, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and celebrating the rich history and contemporary practice of African arts and culture.

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Spier Arts Festival Call for Proposals

The Africa Centre announces a call for proposals for the 12th Annual Spier Arts Festival.

Deadline: 30 June 2007

The Africa Centre (AC) has recently taken responsibility for what was previously known as the Spier Arts Summer Season – a four-month performing arts festival. The Summer Season, for the past 11 years, has produced a diverse offering of dance, theatre and music. The AC has embarked on a process to re-conceptualise the content to align it with the core objectives of the AC and the Summer Season.


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Video: My Mother’s Laughter

Chris van WykPoet Chris van Wyk read from his new memoir, Shirley, Goodness and Mercy, at the 2007 Spier Poetry Festival. Here’s a video clip featuring his poem “My Mother’s Laughter”, which is included in his book.

(See below – the image here is a still.)

Click the “play” button below to watch; or if the video doesn’t load, or is too slow or fuzzy, watch it on the BOOK SA YouTube Channel:


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Video: Merchants in Venice

Ingrid de KokHere is noted South African poet Ingrid de Kok reading her poem “Merchants in Venice” (which is included in her latest book, Seasonal Fires, and was first published in Terrestrial Things) at the 2007 2007 Spier Poetry Festival.

(See below – the image to the left is a still.)

Click the “play” button below to watch; or if the video doesn’t load, or is too slow or fuzzy, watch it on the BOOK SA YouTube Channel:


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Video: Bomb Bridges with Red Visions

Kgafela oa Magogodi“Combat poet” Kgafela oa Magogodi attracted some of the largest audiences at the 2007 Spier Poetry Festival. Here is a clip from one of his longer pieces, which ends with his signature phrase – “I mic what I like”. (See below – the image to the left is a still.)

Click the “play” button below to watch; or if the video doesn’t load, or is too slow or fuzzy, watch it on the BOOK SA YouTube Channel:


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Video: In Zimbabwe, the Word is a Bird

Comrade FatsoHere’s a video clip (see below – the image to the left is a still) of Zimbabwean “toyi-toyi” poet Samm Farai Monro – a.k.a. Comrade Fatso – performing at the 2007 Spier Poetry Festival. “The word is a bird,” he says – able to fly out of reach of the most determined censors.

Comrade Fatso is a member of the Uhuru Network, a community of Zimbabwean youths struggling for social and economic justice in that country. His work is particularly resonant given recent events there.

Click “play” to watch the video (if it doesn’t load, or is too grainy or slow, click the link below to watch it on the YouTube homepage:


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