Artfluence Human Rights festival goes live online and at Nelson Mandela Capture Site


The Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in partnership with the uMngeni Municipality and uMngeni Tourism, will present the 2nd annual Artfluence Human Rights Festival from 3-8 May 2022.

Under the theme Freed Imagination: Resilience, Action and Change, the festival profiles and spotlights artists whose voices and creativity advance a culture of human rights. The festival marks the 60th year of the capture of Nelson Mandela and will therefore highlight the Capture Site in uMngeni and boost opportunities for cultural tourism in the region. Additionally, to the ‘Live in uMmngeni’ event programme at the Capture Site, the festival presents an extensive programme of online events broadcast on YouTube and Facebook, and the audience can join on Zoom.

“We are delighted that with the end of the National lockdowns, we can present a hybrid festival this year with both online and live events; the latter made possible through a partnership with the uMngeni Municipality and uMngeni Tourism”, said Ismail Mahomed, the Director for the Centre for Creative Arts. “The six-day Live in uMngeni programme will feature theatre, dance, music, exhibitions, film and a specially curated animation series of some of Nelson Mandela’s favourite folktales aimed explicitly at children.

The 6-day programme will place at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site to commemorate the 60th anniversary of when Nelson Mandela has captured on the roadside a short distance from Howick. Following his 27-years of detention and transitioning South Africa into a constitutional democracy Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize by the international community.

“The festival located at the Capture Site intends to draw inspiration from Mandela’s legacy and rekindle tourism to the site after the devastating impact of the national lockdown on the cultural economy. Our partnership with the uMngeni Municipality and uMngeni Tourism aims to strengthen a cultural economy that enables local art organisations to thrive”, said Mahomed.

The festival will open on 3 May with an online opening at 3 pm filmed from the capture site and feature this year’s keynote speaker Chester Missing who will provide entertaining but biting commentary about South Africa’s democracy.

Live in Umngeni will open with the Umongo Msindo (Sounds in Context) exhibition, an immersive installation that brings musicians into conversations with their traditional African instruments through videos and textiles that function as interactive wall pieces and a QR portal that expands on their work. This installation will exhibit at the Capture Site until 8 May.

South African political cartoonist Nanda Soobben will exhibit 25 of his cartoons that are a powerful commentary on South Africa’s constitutional democracy. Satirist Conrad Koch will also bring his alter-ego Chester Missing to the Capture site.

The Centre for Jazz at the UKZN will present a concert featuring some of its most talented students. The Flatfoot Dance Company will present their latest production, The Cleansing, which journeys into the heartland of Earth issues and negotiates the true meaning of ecology – the connectedness of human existence to all existence.

Believing that environmental justice is social justice, the Flatfoot Dance Company will be joined by their long-time collaborator and wordsmith extraordinaire, poet Iain Ewok Robinson, in a production titled The Cleansing, where his poetic words flow with the dancers in an evocation that shouts out, “surely the Earth can be saved for me”, “surely the Earth can be saved for you”.

Poetry Africa curator Siphindile Hlongwa and University of Johannesburg’s Arts & Culture poetry programmes co-ordinator, Quaz Roodt, have joined forces to curate the specially devised poetry programme, At the Marketplace, with four poets whom they’ve commissioned to venture out into South Africa’s informal trading spaces to find inspiration for their poems.

Hlongwa has curated a unique live programme taking place during Live in Umngeni titled ‘Freed Imagination’, which will feature internationally celebrated poet Lebo Mashile with local poets from KZN. Lebo Mashile is a multi-award winning actress, poet, novelist and social justice activist.

The Centre for Creative Arts will also facilitate skills-based workshops in art practice and administration for uMngeni-based artists during the Live in uMngeni Artfluence Human Rights Festival.

The full programme for both the Live in uMngeni programme and the online programme will be released on the festival website on Wednesday, 27 April. ( Seats for each event are restricted in terms of existing Covid-19 protocols. Bookings can be made through Webtickets from Thursday 28 April.

 For enquiries: email or find us on social media: @artfluencefest

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