Challenging widespread perceptions of dagga use

Who smokes weed? Why do these people use it? What effect does weed have on society? What do we do about this drug “problem”? These are some of the questions that are often answered with stereotypes and misconceptions, either by ourselves or the people around us based on a lack of knowledge or being misinformed. The process of challenging these perceptions around cannabis began with an introduction to the legal aspects of usage and decriminalisation. A follow-up panel at Think!Fest explored the social and medical aspects of decriminalising cannabis.

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The difficulty of dealing with gender-based violence

How do you unsettle, unlearn and undo gender based violence? Many conversations have been had and hopefully, will continue to be had about the subject. It’s often easy to walk away feeling dizzy and hopeless at the realisation of how multifaceted the subject is and wondering where to begin in order to move forward. Panelists Catriona Mcleod, Gorata Chengeta, Lisa Vetten, Nadine Joseph and Nonhle Skosana discussed why sexual violence continues to be such a difficult subject to tackle.

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Women pursuing cultural leadership despite challenges

Women are slowly making their way up in the world with things shifting and changing considerably over the years. The arts industry in particular is showing good signs. It was recently announced that 80% of this years National Arts Festival programme is written, created, directed or headlined by women.

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Lliane Loots speaks to an audience member after the roundtable.

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Painful-to-view art inspires compassion and empathy

With over 50 million refugees across the world, the global migrant and refugee crisis is ongoing and filled with myriad experiences of human suffering. 

“So, what can the arts do?” asks Think!Fest convener, Anthea Garman. Three artists, Lereko Mfono, James Oatway and Brett Bailey come together to discuss whether, through their own work, they can inspire compassion which goes beyond just seeing and understanding the issue. Continue reading

After disruption, we need conversation

Controversial media creates controversial and often differing responses. We’ve seen this with the media coverage of the South African student protests during the past year. Following a public screening of DISRUPT, two reporters share their perspectives on the documentary about the rape culture at the University currently known as Rhodes (UCKAR).

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Connecting people through the arts for reconciliation, activism and healing.

In the midst of an ongoing Arts Festival, two panel discussions on the Think!Fest programme today delve into the context of theatre and the arts. In particular, the South African context, where theatre can be considered a tool for reconciliation, activism and healing. However, we’ve got a long way to go.

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Muslim women hit hardest by Islamophobia

“Brexit was never about resistance against the overkill of European rules and laws which the British felt restrained their freedom and possibility. It was never about taking control of our own law again which they said very often. It was always about xenophobia, about an irrational hatred for foreigners and immigrants[…]. Blaming their problems on this imaginary threat of immigration and Islam” – Hassnae Bouazza. 

Following a Gender Politics Panel earlier in the day, Hassnae Bouazza returns to address Islamophobia and how women in particular are affected by it. She makes links to xenophobia, racism and worldwide perceptions of immigrants.

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