Tuesday, October 21, 2014

South African Showcase: Arts Alive International Festival

Next up on our virtual tour of South Africa, we are off to the City of Johannesburg at the annual Arts Alive International Festival, which celebrates local and international theater, dance, music, visual art and entertainment. The 10-day festival is held at various venues throughout the city and is known to draw in large audiences with its unique programming mixture of high-profile performers and relatively unknown artists.

via Flickr by Chris Eason 
Founded by Christopher Till in 1992, this festival was established as an “acknowledgement of the important role that the arts play in democratizing a city and redressing the inequities of the past.”  The 2014 program ran from August 31st to September 10th, and marked the 22nd season of the festival. This year’s festival focussed on “20 Years of Democracy,” which provided a solid framework for featured productions with themes of freedom, reconciliation and diversity taking center stage.

A few of the “not-to-be-missed” programs from this past season included Divas in Democracy, Mating Birds, Speak the Mind, and Lonely Together. From beat poetry to dance collaborations, Macmillan Silver Pen Prize plays to fabulous jazz concerts, the Arts Alive International Festival has it all. As Cllr. Chris Vondo, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development for the City of Johannesburg so succinctly puts it:
“The Johannesburg Arts Alive International Festival confirms Johannesburg’s position as South Africa’s cultural capital and a city that can host world-class events that are accessible to all communities.”

Have you ever attended the Arts Alive International Festival? If so, we’d love to hear from you about your experience!