Masterpieces from Matisse in South Africa

This year’s National Arts Festival may have come to an end but you can still get your art fix at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg. A large number of works by Henri Matisse will be on display for all to enjoy, thanks to support from the Embassy of France to South Africa. This is the first wide-ranging exhibition of Matisse’s work to be held in South Africa


The exhibition will be supplemented by an education programme, so that learners can appreciate the masterpieces as much as a connoisseur would. Wilhelm van Rensburg, curator of education for the exhibition, is a Research Fellow at the Visual Identities in Art & Design (VIAD) research centre in the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) at the University of Johannesburg. For a full understanding of how the exhibition programme will take place, you can listen to his Think!Fest presentation below.

It’s not enough to place colours, however beautiful, one beside the other; colours must also react on one another. Otherwise, you have cacophony. Jazz is rhythm and meaning. – Matisse

Henri Matisse: Rhythm and Meaning will be on display at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg from 13 July to 17 September 2016.

Providing healthcare and humanity

Following discussions on migration, the plight of refugees and the challenges that people face as a result of xenophobia, Sharon Ekambaram, founding director of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) South Africa, highlighted the urgent need for recognition, support and funding.

With deep sensitivity and consideration for those most in need, MSF are helping refugees gain access to quality healthcare and support in the process of their displacement.

msf_dual_english_cmyk_0 Continue reading

One great novel, six original scripts

Originally published by Cue
Yasthiel Devraj, Cue student reporter68.Noviolet-Bulawayo-We-Need-New-Names

NoViolet Bulawayo’s debut novel, We Need New Names, forms the springboard for Twist Theatre Development Project’s 2016 novel-script project. The annual exercise calls for six writers of diverse backgrounds – this year hailing from Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Mozambique – to craft a ten-minute script inspired by themes evident in Bulawayo’s coming-of-age novel.

We Need New Names, while informing the creative process, is not the central focus of the event, explains programme mentor Kobus Moolman “The focus is on inspiration rather than adaptation,” he says. A group of five actors perform the six original scenes with scripts in hand, delivering dynamic performances of diverse scenarios spanning working-class America and the mines of Johannesburg. Continue reading

Let’s talk production: Twijnstra and Durden tackle theatre in new book

By Carol Kagezi

Entering the theatre industry is seemingly difficult, especially in South Africa. In their first book, Theatre Directing in South Africa, Durban based Dutch theatre director Roel Twijnstra and theatre specialist Emma Durden offer practical steps one can take when embarking on such a journey. Based on the popularity of this book, the pair partner up again to co-author Theatre Production in South Africa.

The book stems from a series of workshops the pair have conducted with Drama departments, festivals, theatre groups and community groups in Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN). “It contains interviews with producers, stage managers and project managers,” Twijnstra says. The book gives an overview of the theatre production industry in South Africa in addition to highlighting new production models for young upcoming producers with entrepreneurial skills. Durden and Twijnstra emphasise the need to find opportunities and exploit them.

Among those in attendance was Bhekani Shabalala, an independent producer of theatre who is interviewed in the book. He shared his journey with the crowd. “I had to learn how to create and find an audience,” he says, “I had to learn how to think outside the box and advertise by word of mouth.” Shabalala and his team of three others were tasked with recreating and reviving a theatre culture in Umlazi, KZN. He is currently the manager of Thambo Theatre Productions.

The cost of compiling this book have been subsidised by funders such as the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa (ANFASA) and Twist Projects (sponsored by the National Lotteries Commission). Durden says because of this funding they are able to sell it for R100. She also warns against relying on “magic money” to make theatre. “You have to develop relationships with people and think of ways of developing enough income,” she adds.


Twijnstra and Durden’s first book, Theatre Directing in South Africa.

The future of the past is a must see

Carol Kagezi
Originally posted on Artslink

Often find yourself reaching out for your phone or logging on to any social media you may own? If not, then this is your cup of tea.

If you are still reading this and you happen to be at the National Arts’ Festival, the show Not the Futurists is a must see.

This thought-provoking piece of music theatre is a merging of speed, technology, experiment and the rebellious attitude of early futurist thinkers. “My aim, while writing this production, was to get people thinking critically about the human race’s dependency on technology,” says creator, Jerzy Bielski. He also adds that he would like to see a future where society is overtaking technology and not the other way around.

The play has been performed on other international stages. Laura Jakschas, director, attributes the cast’s success to their ability to adjust the script and make the references within the production relevant to their audience.

A lecture demonstration by the award-winning team behind Not Only Futurists will be given today, 2pm at Kingswood Music School. 

We need more names – the limitations of African Literature

68.Noviolet-Bulawayo-We-Need-New-NamesThe increasing interest in African Literature and the recognition of African authors globally is a cause for celebration. Yet the increase in visibility is not without its problems. “This newfound visibility has prompted a renewed sense of contestation around the term, a renewed sense of debate and conversation about what exactly we mean, what are the intellectual and institutional implications of using that phrase, African Literature,” said Ranka Primorac, an English lecturer at the University of Southampton. Using a variety of African texts and authors as a starting point, Primorac interrogated the issues surrounding the term African Literature. Continue reading

Satire, cartoons and drawing our own limits

Satire debate

One of the recurring issues when talking satire and freedom of expression at Think!Fest has been the limit to which we can say what we want. With Pierre de Vos, Justice Albie Sachs, Tara Notcutt, Jeremy Nell and Tjeerd Royaards on the panel and a full house ready to talk satire, chair Anthea Garman begins by asking what each speaker is personally offended by, and what they avoid speaking about in order to not offend. Continue reading