The annual free public arts festival Infecting The City is back for its sixth year with a bumper line-up to excite Capetonians. The festival boasts an incredible 60 new artworks this year, which is amazing growth considering it originally only featured 10 back in 2008.
A selection of top local and international artists will converge on the Mother City for the showcase taking place between March 11 and 16. The attractions include dance, theatre, music, live art, visual arts and installations peppered across the city. A few of the must see attractions include the release of 1000 paper jet artworks by artist Jason Potgieter, a real-time performance of daily news headlines by Jazzart, a glowstick installation on city pavements by Marcus Neustetter, a giant puppet flash mob, a light symphony by French artist Antoine Schmidt on Church Square and a thought provoking performance entitled ‘Widow’ by Mandisi Shindo outside the St George’s Cathedral.
The festival is curated by Jay Pather, Director of the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) at UCT. The attractions are set along a dedicated route throughout the City so audiences can experience all the works, or simply pick and choose the ones they like. As always all performances are free and this year 400 high school scholars will be transported to the City Centre by the Africa Centre’s youth programme ‘Arts Aweh!’ so that they can also experience the festival.
Mayco member for Tourism, Events and Marketing Grant Pasco says the festival is a great way for Capetonians to experience the city with total strangers. “This gives the general public a chance to interact with their city spaces in ways they have never thought possible…and to share that experience with total strangers,” he says.
Two other gems on the programme is the reading by award-winning author Henrietta Rose-Innes who will discuss her work ‘Green Lion’.
The book is set in a zoo-like institution and traces the relationship between a lion-keeper and rare Cape lion in his care. While visual artist Michael MacGarry has produced a period film called ‘As Above, So Below’ which is a re-imagining of Charles Darwin’s brief visit to the Cape of Good Hope in 1836. The film, shot in black and white, questions what might have happened if Darwin had never left the Cape.
Infecting the City is only one of the projects run by the Africa Centre, which explores art and cultural practice as a way of sparking social change. Other events on their calendar include the Artist in Residency programme, the Badilisha Poetry X-Change and Talking Heads.
* Visit www.infectingthecity.com/2013 for more information on the programme, route, venues and artists.