Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival 2016

The 10th Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival takes place from Thursday, the 4th to Wednesday, the 10th of August 2016.

Sixty years after 20000 brave women marched for their rights in Pretoria, Artscape Theatre honours them and other citizens fighting for the rights of South Africans. The Arts Festival marks the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March to the Union Buildings in Pretoria with the intergenerational theme: “60 years – Where are we now?”.

The iconic march was led by Sophia Williams de Bruyn, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Lilian Ngoyi. The Arts Festival will look especially at their impact on future generations of women in South Africa.

One of the highlights of the Arts Festival  is a panel discussion in Artscape’s Chandelier Foyer on Women’s Day. This is where panellists like Simone Heradien and Professor Waheeda Amien will ask: “Freedom and Justice: Have we got what we marched for?”. They will be joined by The Black Sash’s Mary Burton, who launched her book on the organisation’s history and role in South Africa’s democracy at last year’s festival. 

Artscape Women's Humanity Arts Festival 2016
Chuma Sopotela in Oo Ma Sisulu. Image courtesy of Heads Up Communications.

Artscape’s Women’s Humanity Arts Festival focuses on humanity, women and disability with the aims to restore humanity and social cohesion. One of the festival events designed to bring people of all different backgrounds together is the WOMAN ZONE’s Women’s Humanity Walk. 

All Capetonians are invited to carry a placard with the name of a woman who’s inspired them, to wear headdresses appropriate to their culture and to be part of the interfaith walk from The Iziko Slave Lodge in Adderley Street to the Artscape Piazza. This year, the walk will honour Cape Town’s women with a collaborative artwork, “The Wire Woman”. 

Created by Street Wires, the almost three metre high structure will be installed at Artscape in August where visitors can help decorate her with ribbons and the names of ordinary and inspirational women, making her a true representation of the women of Cape Town.

On stage from Thursday 4 to Saturday 13 August, Oo Ma Sisulu explores the concept of political activism through the story of the life of Albertina Sisulu. The piece looks at the circumstances that drive a woman like Sisulu to become an activist and what it meant to be a woman at the frontlines of the struggle for rights in South Africa.

Other highlights of this year’s Arts Festival include the restaging of Cold Case: Revisiting Dulcie September with Denise Newman and Rivers of Emotion, a new production by Taare, a Bollywood dance performance troupe.

Artscape Women's Humanity Arts Festival 2016
Rivers of Emotion. Rhythm India. Image courtesy of Heads Up Communications.

Away from the stage, festival-goers will be also be able to attend a variety of law and consumer workshops covering subjects. Including Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences; the Role of women in establishing democracy in SA; and the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer people.

Additional activities around the Arts Festival

These include book launches, Woman Zone’s Story Café with panel discussions and storytelling. There will also be exhibitions and health screenings covering everything from breast cancer to TB and HIV.

The Arts Festival will draw to a close with two performances of Women in Song on Monday 8 August at 20:00 and Tuesday 9 August at 15:00. Both directed by Thoko Ntshinga and musical director Janine Neethling and featuring performances from:

  • Sylvia Mdunyelwa,
  • Tina Schouw,
  • Vicky Sampson,
  • Fancy Galada,
  • Zanne de Lang (previously Stapelberg),
  • Zelda Benjamin,
  • Sophia Foster,
  • Thandi Swaartbooi & Women Unite,
  • Diana Ferrus,
  • Bulelwa Basse, and
  • The SACDA wheelchair dancers.

For more information about the Arts Festival and full programme, visit www.artscape.co.za. Tickets are available from Computicket.

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