I’m going to take a leaf out of Vuyani Dance Theatre’s (VDT) book and ‘look back to move forward’. 2019 was an incredibly busy and productive year for the Creative Feel team as, in addition to publishing eleven issues of Creative Feel, we also took on a few external projects, like the above-mentioned VDT 20th anniversary coffee-table book Looking Back to Move Forward. While working on this book, we became deeply interested in a William Kentridge production that VDT Founder and Creative Director, Gregory Maqoma, was collaborating on alongside Philip Miller and Thuthuka Sibisi: The Head & the Load. At the time, the production had already shown in London, New York and Duisburg as part of the World War I centenary and was showing at the Holland Festival in Amsterdam. Researching the story, reading the rave reviews from international art critics and looking at production pictures, we just had to see it – and couldn’t wait for it to come to SA as it was rumoured it would.
According to Kentridge, ‘The Head & the Load is about Africa and Africans in the First World War. That is to say about all the contradictions and paradoxes of colonialism that were heated and compressed by the circumstances of the war. It is about historical incomprehension (and inaudibility and invisibility). The colonial logic towards the black participants could be summed up: “Lest their actions merit recognition, their deeds must not be recorded.” The Head & the Load aims to recognise and record.’ Kentridge granted us a wonderful and insightful interview for this issue about the genesis of this production, its influences, and his interest in bringing this untold story to light – we hope you enjoy it!
Another project that we began working on in 2019 is the Creative Industries Career Expo, a brand-new event that is being put on by Creative Knowledge at Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg, this March. We have designed and built their website and are managing their digital marketing and communications. This event, we feel, has the potential to be a game changer for the creative industries and can hopefully make it a less daunting space to enter for youth and their parents. In light of this, we have included some interviews in this issue that aim to ‘demystify’ certain careers, such as the role of a museum curator or an event director.
But, back to moving forward. Why am I talking about all of our projects? How do we, a small team, find time for all of this? Well, we are going to be changing our publishing schedule. We will now be producing six issues a year instead of eleven, to give us time not only to create content that is relevant, exciting and original, but also to take on projects that contribute to the growth of the creative industries, and thus, Creative Feel.