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April 10, 2013

The Infecting the City arts festival: a review

On Friday 15 March 2013 Cape Town Tourism's Tourism Services team made their way down to Cape Town Station on the Foreshore to experience the public arts festival, Infecting the City. The event is held annually in public spaces across the city centre, and is free and accessible to the public.

The first performance we attended was Finding the Other, on the Cape Town Station forecourt.

Cape Town Tourism's Tourism Services team enjoy experiencing the Infecting the City Festival from a visitor's perspective

The performance item is explained as "in grief, one loses one’s sense of self and dignity". Watching the performer was definitely an emotional rollercoaster, the singing then wailing leaving an emotional imprint on many. 

We moved onto the next scheduled performance, called Attitude, by Sebastian Klemm.

The costumes and props attracted quite a crowd. As soon as the mascot approached the scene, the actresses and set came alive. We watched as one of the  actresses, who was bound to a wooden structure, silently, produced mild to strong body movements. The other was more outspoken.

It’s explained that Attitude is being depicted through two neighbouring performers in shattered circumstances of life, urging for change. Each performer´s squirming movements, silence or words are accompanied by individual soundtracks that may be amplified or weakened by the public and audience, when actively relocating flagpoles among the performers – how do we perceive the conditions of our fellow human beings? How may we change our preconceived opinions? What can we do to support one another?

The next exhibition we visited was Platform_18_28.

The exhibition took a look at the day-to-day travelling of people in and out of Cape Town. Movement and transit. The display introduced artworks produced by students from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town. The idea of placing the display on a platform was to slow people down as they moved through the gates 18-28, to view the art.

We also went to see Adriana Roos’ The Commuter.

It was a fascinating map, depicting pictures of  commuters and the places they come from. It asks questions about people and their identity, and what relationship this has with the places that they are from.

The last performance we witnessed on the day, Ukuphanda Kwedlaka (Death has a Way to Reveal the Truth), started out with loud music, and mostly women singing in Xhosa. None of us understood the language but resorted to asking another member in the crowd to translate. It looked quite interesting and was a great pity that we could not understand.

According to the translator, the play depicted the story of a single mother and how she has been driven to taking the place of a father. The choreography and the beating of the drums depicted the broken family. The dance techniques displayed anguish, oppression, retaliation experienced by a female, fuelled by the powerful rhythm of the drums.

For further information on the programme or performances viewed, please visit http://www.infectingthecity.com/2013/programmes/programme-d.


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