Artscape Theatre will once again be celebrating its seventh annual Women’s Arts Week from Sunday to Saturday, August 4 to 10. The theme of the Women/Humanity Arts Festival is ‘Against All Odds’, focusing on women, societal challenges and disability. The main objective of hosting this annual festival is to create a sustainable artistic response that addresses the ongoing challenges, violence and human rights violations against women.
This year the festival programme includes collaborations between The Chaeli Campaign and Shonaquip. The Chaeli Campaign is a NPO whose main objective is to mobilise the minds and bodies of differently-abled children, with a key focus on inclusion and independence. Shonaquip is a community needs-driven company committed to improving the quality of life of people with severe disabilities.
Artscape has forged a partnership with The Cape Town based Consul General of India, Dr. Swati V. Kulkarni, who will be sponsoring a delegation of women entrepreneurs from India, to attend this year’s festival.
The Women’s Arts Festival will be bursting with various activities including theatre productions, exhibitions, talks, workshops and more.
Artists and productions
BAHI Healing Concert
Humanity Week will kickoff with a showcase called Healing Concert. Artists like NiaNell, Louis Brittz, Zanne Stapelberg, Ivan Siegelaar, Rouchelle Liedemann and Elton Jansen will all tell their stories of hope and attempt to bring healing with their inspiring songs.
‘Nancy’ is a play directed by Abduragman Adams and performed by Riaan Visman that delivers commentary on the South African/universal gay experience, raising themes such as friendship, homophobia, hate crimes, HIV and Aids.
‘In the Wings’
This is a lighthearted play that tells the story of two sisters, one with Cerabral Palsy, as they battle to work past their limitations to create the future the rest of the world sometimes fails to see.
‘It’s a Man’s World’
This theatrical production is a fairytale looking at the reality of society and the role of men today and tells the story of four brothers struggling with issues of power, violence, anger, frustration, bitterness, and emptiness following the death of their mother.
Dejavu-Tafari is a performance poet whose work covers a vast array of topics, ranging from spirituality to the role of women in society. She is accompanied by two back-up vocalists.
Written and performed by Siphumeze Khundayi and directed by Sara Matchett, ‘Ngangelizwe’ is a one woman show about the construction of a woman’s identity, taking into account issues of culture, sexuality, and sexual orientation.
Nianell and Vicky Sampson in Concert
This music concert will see performances by these two quintessential SA divas.
There will be a free concert by Black Byrd for audiences attending the Panel Discussion. This all-girl group has made a big impact on the South African music scene in the past year, with their energetic live performances, singing, dancing and guitar playing. Their polished and professional performances also include choreographed dance routines.
Rachel Gadsden Stage Production
UK visual artistist Rachel Gadsden and UK musician and sound producer, Dom Coyote, join forces with South African Director Mandla Mbothwe and SA dancer Andile Vellem at the Magnet Theatre, Observatory Cape Town.
The panel discussion with the theme ‘Against All Odds’ will focus on violence against women; the sobering facts on rape and how women survive and celebrate their lives. National icon and world famous satirist Evita Bezuidenhout will be the honoured guest at the panel discussion. Panelists will include an international representative, Ms. Mamata Sharma – Chairperson of The National Commission for Women in India; and the likes of Professor Amanda Gouws – Professor in Political Science at University of Stellenbosch and Commissioner at the Commission for Gender Equality; Undere Deglon – Chief Executive Officer of the Disability Workshop Development Enterprise; and Vainola Makan – Manager and Founder of New Women’s Movement.
In addition to the abovementioned attractions, there will also be various empowering workshops, including Know your rights; Marketing your own business workshop; Yoga De-stress: Being present to my feminine power; a Gender Violence Workshop; and a Belly Dancing Workshop.
Attendees can also look forward to Gym for Life group displays, a Weigh Less Talk by Mary Holroyd, the book launch of Nenio Mbazima’s autobiography ‘Strong Wind’, as well as book launches by female authors Jeanne Els, Jacqueline Leuvennink, Karin Brynard, Wilna Adriaanse and Nedine Blom.
Exhibitors at the Festival will include The Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust, CANSA, the Saartjie Baartman Centre For Women And Children, the New World Foundation and the Centre For Early Childhood Development.
* For more information, visit www.artscape.co.za.
Book at Computicket or Dial-A-Seat on 021 421 7695.