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Encore: Ashraf Johaardien

Ashraf Johaardien is the recently appointed CEO of Business and Arts South Africa (BASA). He works closely with the new Chairperson, Charmaine Soobramoney, and the board to manage, drive and translate our organisational strategy and purpose into tangible outputs and engagement that create deliberate value for all of our stakeholders. Over the last 20 years, Johaardien has worked for a wide range of creative, cultural and academic institutions. He has also written a few plays and produced a few festivals along the way.

Ashraf Johaardien q&a interview
Ashraf Johaardien image credit: Jan Potgieter

Name three artworks that you love and why.
My favourite play of all time is Closer by British playwright Patrick Marber. I love the stripped-back dialogue and the clever plot.  It’s a play about what’s not said and is a devastating analysis of human relationships.
     My favourite novel is K. Sello Duiker’s The Quiet Violence of Dreams. It is an extraordinary piece of expansive writing that captures the texture and pulse of youth culture in South Africa at the dawn of the new millennium.
     I saw the ethnographic work Samedi Détente by Dorothée Munyaneza at a theatre festival in Germany last year. In it, the artist performs the trauma of her life as a 12-year-old survivor of the Rwandan genocide. I just sat there and wept all the way through. By the time the performance ended and the house lights came back on, I was so shattered I just sat there unable to move.

Name one artist you would love to meet.
I’d love to meet Jason Silva. He’s more of a philosopher and a futurist than an artist, per se, but I find his work fascinating and inspirational. He has a documentary series on YouTube called Shots of Awe and was also the host for the National Geographic documentaries, Brain Games and Origins.

To read the full Encore Q&A with Ashraf Johaardien, purchase the May 2019 issue of Creative Feel or, to continue supporting our role in the South African arts and culture sector, subscribe to our monthly magazine from only R180.00 to R365.00 per year! SUBSCRIBE HERE!

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