Celebrating its 7th year the Artscape Women/Humanity Arts Festival has its official opening on Thursday August 8 and runs until August 10.
The theme, Against all Odds focuses on women, societal challenges and disability. “The main objective of this annual festival is to create a sustainable artistic response which addresses the on-going challenges, violence and human rights violations against women and how they and people faced with disability celebrate their lives,” explains Marlene le Roux, Artscape’s Director of Audience Development and Education.
Guest speaker at the launch will be Chaeli Mycroft, of the Chaeli Campaign. Mycroft has cerebral palsy and uses a motorised wheelchair to get around. As an ability activist, the first year UCT student has made it her life’s work to challenge the world’s understanding of what it is to create an inclusive society.
Over the past weekend Sally Messina’s exhibition of women’s portraits was launched as well as the Shonaquip wheelchair display installation with guest speakers Shona McDonald and Rachel Gadsen.
Through a panel discussion, various productions, activities, workshops and exhibitions the Festival aims to raise awareness, educate and inform survivors, families and communities that they have the human and constitutional right to live in a non-oppressive and non-violent society.
The panel discussion on August 9 from 10.30am to 12.30pm in the Theatre will focus on violence against women; the sobering facts on rape and how women survive and celebrate their lives. Keynote speaker will be national icon and world famous satirist, Evita Bezuidenhout.
Stage production highlights include:
• ‘Nancy’, a play directed by Abduraghmaan Adams and which comments on the South African/universal gay experience. It raises themes such as friendship, homophobia, hate crimes, HIV and AIDS through the lives of three central characters. (August 8, 9 and 10).
• ‘In The Wings’, an original play written and directed by Jared Kruger, which is a coming of age story of two sisters, one of whom has cerebral palsy. (August 8 and 9)
• ‘It’s A Man’s World’ a play by Durban director and composer Jerry Pooe and the Netherlands-based Het Waterhuis Theatre Company that focuses on the issue of macho culture and the spread of HIV. (August 8, 9 and 10)
Workshops will also take place in the Artscape Theatre Centre and will include:
• Marketing your own Business (August 8 from 3.30pm to 5pm)
• Law Matters by the Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre (August 9 from 10am to 1pm)
• Women in Business: (August 9 from 2pm to 3pm)
The Festival will end on a high note with two dazzling local stars, Nianell and Vicky Sampson, in cincert. (August 10 at 8pm)
* Book at Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695. Visit www.artscape.co.za for a full list of events.