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February 15, 2011

Treasure time: Infecting the City starts next week

infecting the city

Performers at Infecting the City 2010. Photo courtesy Max Barñers

Get ready for an infestation like no other when Infecting the City rolls into Cape Town next week. Running from February 21 to 26, this year’s Spier Public Arts Festival programme is themed “Treasure”, and that’s exactly what you’ll find across the city. On Monday, plazas and squares will become stages and pavements will turn into art galleries … and it’s all free. In a true celebration of the inherent creativity that makes Cape Town so unique, Infecting the City is offering a bumper line-up!

Follow different Jewel routes (this is what the mapped-out paths through the city are called this year) through the CBD on different days to discover Infecting the City’s entertainers and artists from Irish dancers, an Ethiopian coffee ceremony and opera to Xhosa stick-fighting, ballet and sangomas.

Visit the Festival Hub at the Cape Town Station Forecourt daily for Slices of Life, where a team of artists will transform heaps of recyclable garbage from five different Cape Town suburbs into artworks that comment on our wasteful lifestyles.

Also happening at the Festival Hub is a team of gardeners upgrading the Cape Town Station gardens along the boundary of Strand Street with treasures of the Cape Floral Kingdom (the richest of the world’s six floral kingdoms).

Several tours will be starting at the Festival Hub: The Treasure Hunt (a clue-based contest that lets you explore the city while standing a chance of winning great prizes from Spier Hotel, Protea Hotel, Dutch Manor Antique Hotel and the Mount Nelson’s Librisa Spa). The first clues can be found each day of the week at the sundial at the Festival Hub at noon. Visit the Festival Info Desk for information and directions.

Also look out for the Music Gems programme, which includes a car guard quartet, a goema symphony, taiko drumming, the Zamanani Brothers and spaza hip-hop. These performances take place at 08h15, 13h15 and 16h45 from Monday to Friday and at 09h15 and 12h00 on Saturday at the Music Gems Stage at the Festival Hub.

If you want to kick back after taking in some culture, head to the festival’s watering hole, Boo Radley’s in Hout Street. Here you can meet the artists and talk to them about their work in an informal setting.

On Saturday, February 26 at 10h00, you can witness an exceedingly rare performance of the ancient practice of Ratiep, brought to South Africa by Indonesian slaves. It involves swords, knives, drums, tambourines and an expression of faith.

Follow Infecting the City on Twitter here or join them on Facebook to gain access to all the festival details. You can also get a lot of information off the official website here, and view the festival guide, maps and programme.

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