Freedom to Create Prize Festival Empowers Grassroots Organisations in Cape Town

Cape Town, October 31, 2011: Freedom to Create, an international organisation that encourages the use of arts to inspire social change around the world, is bringing its annual prize festival to Cape Town in November and will be giving back to the Cape Town community during its visit.

The festival includes a press conference at the Iziko Slave Lodge on November 10; a Documentary Week at The Labia from November 14 to 19; an exhibition of photographs in the Company’s Garden from November 17 to December 18; a forum discussion at the Fugard Theatre led by Mrs Graça Machel on November 16; a week-long series of creative workshops for specially invited participants from in and around Cape Town; and culminates in a prize event and concert at the world famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden on Saturday November 19. See the programme here.

Cape Town Tourism is endorsing the event, which is the first major creative event in Cape Town since the city was named World Design Capital 2014.

CEO of Cape Town Tourism Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold shares: “Cape Town Tourism is looking forward to being involved in the Freedom to Create Prize Festival. Having just been awarded the title of World Design Capital 2014, Cape Town is honoured that an event of this stature showcasing such stirring creativity has chosen to showcase their work in the city of inspiration! With a burgeoning design network and focused on showcasing the role design and the creative sector plays in transforming a city, the Freedom to Create Prize Festival is a perfect fit for Cape Town.

“We are particularly excited that the proceeds from ticket sales to the Freedom to Create Prize Concert will be donated to a Cape Town charity that stimulates young minds and benefits those in previously disadvantaged areas. The artists put forward for this prize are said to have inspired the human spirit … as does Freedom to Create with their generosity. We look forward to working with the Freedom to Create team on future long term partnerships and events, and we hope all artists joining us in Cape Town in November will be equally inspired by our city!”

The Freedom to Create Prize is awarded to artists in recognition of their courage and creativity in using the arts to promote social justice and inspire the human spirit.

A number of prize participants who are on the 2011 Freedom to Create Prize shortlist, made international headlines this year for their courageous and often dangerous work and include African, Middle Eastern and Asian artists who have pursued freedom and universal human rights in the face of political oppression.

The 2011 Freedom to Create Prize concert, which will kick off the popular summer concert season in the famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, will be hosted by award-winning South African television presenter Leanne Manas, and will feature performances of soul-stirring songs by The Gugulethu Tenors, kwaito music by Namibian artist EeS and a vibrant world music concert by Senegalese superstar Baaba Maal.

Freedom to Create has announced that it will gift the proceeds of tickets sales to the Music Therapy Community Clinic, a non-profit organisation that provides music therapy services to underprivileged and previously disadvantaged communities in Cape Town. Tickets to the awards ceremony and concert are available through Webtickets.

Encouraging Inclusiveness

In the spirit of inclusiveness, Freedom to Create is also extending complimentary access to the 2011 Freedom to Create Prize concert to select local non-profit organisations such as the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children for survivors of violence; SHAWCO – a University of Cape Town student-run NGO; SAEP (South African Education and Environment Project); and the Friends of Valkenberg art project, to improve the quality of life for patients of Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital.

Priti Devi, spokesperson for Freedom to Create said, “We believe societies that encourage inclusiveness and creative expression are building strong foundations for economic, political and social development. This year, as part of our month-long Freedom to Create Prize festival, we are bringing a series of creative arts events for the people of Cape Town to enjoy. Cape Town is a city known for its vibrant creative arts and fascinating history of social change and therefore, a fitting location to celebrate the courage and creativity of artists who have inspired social change through the positive influence of their work.”

Former First Lady of South Africa and a leading international role model, Mrs Graça Machel, will open the Freedom to Create Exhibition, a unique open air exhibition along Government Avenue in the Company’s Garden, showcasing 60 riveting press and artistic photographs by this year’s prize participants. By bringing the exhibition outdoors to this popular public heritage park, Freedom to Create aims to encourage dialogue around pressing social issues that the exhibition brings to light. The exhibits will be on display from 17 November to 18 December.

Inspiring Creativity

Freedom to Create events in Cape Town will include a series of photography, film-making, theatre, art, creative writing and dance workshops with expert practitioners at the Fugard Theatre for specially selected local participants in need of creative empowerment:

  • Visual Arts workshop by British visually impaired artist Rachel Gadsden with the Bambanani Group of Khayelitsha, to encourage individuals to celebrate life and face challenges through creativity.
  • Photography workshop by Santu Mofokeng, one of South Africa’s leading photographers, with committed photographers working with the Bonani Africa Exhibition, the South Africa History online group and University of the Western Cape scholarship students living in Khayelitsha.
  • Film-making workshop run by Dylan Valley involving the Mamelani Group that empowers women, youth and children from marginalised communities.
  • Theatre workshop by Thembi Mtshali-Jones, celebrated singer, actress and playwright of Generations and Madam and Eve, with rape survivors from Rape Crisis Cape Town.
  • Creative writing workshop by Deon Meyer and Professor Rozena Maart, internationally renowned author and South African writer, involving students and mentors from the Rachel’s Angels academic and life skills mentorship programme for grade 11 and 12 learners.
  • Dance workshop by Didi Moses, renowned South African dancer and choreographer with children from historically disadvantaged communities studying with Dance for All, a non-profit organisation that provides children with a support system and promotes their self-esteem through dance training.
  • Finale of the workshop sessions at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town, will be a showcase of performances open for public viewing at 2pm on Wednesday November 16. Each workshop group will create an inspiring performance to showcase their skills to their peers and to the audience.

Supporting the Empowerment of Women

Freedom to Create is delighted to present the South African premiere of the film, The Lost Girls of South Africa, at the Labia on Thursday November 17 as part of the 2011 Freedom to Create documentary film festival. Proceeds of the film screening are being donated to The Lost Girls Fund, set up by the film-makers to provide viewers an opportunity to directly help the girls featured in the film, to move to new, safer houses. More information on the documentary film festival is available at

Mrs Graça Machel will be the keynote speaker at the Freedom to Create Forum on Female Empowerment, which will be held at the Fugard Theatre at 4.30pm on November 16. She will be joined by four distinguished role models on the panel who will share their experiences and provide insights on creating lasting change for the women in their communities.

Six South African art collectives (Woza Moya-Hillcrest Aids Trust, Ardmore Ceramics, Keiskamma Arts Trust, Hlabisa Basket Weavers, Greatmore Studios and Artist Proof Studio) have been invited to participate in the ‘AWARE/OWARE’ game at Kirstenbosch between November 16 and 25. AWARE/OWARE, a project of Artworks for Change and presented by Freedom to Create, is based on the classic African game “Oware” and it serves as an interactive forum for the community to explore issues that impact the empowerment of women.

The game is open to all visitors of Kirstenbosch. In order to enjoy complimentary access to Kirstenbosch to play AWARE/OWARE, NGOs are encouraged to pre-arrange a time-slot through Alison Pekeur at or +27 (0) 21 799 8686.

For further information on the 2011 Freedom to Create Prize festival in Cape Town in November 2011, please visit: or please contact


Note to editors:

  • Freedom to Create is an international organisation that encourages the use of creativity and the arts to inspire social change around the world.
  • Freedom to Create Prize was established in 2008 to celebrate the courage and creativity of artists, and the positive influence of their work to promote social justice and inspire the human spirit.
  • The Freedom to Create Exhibitions showcase selected visual art entries from each year’s Prize nominations, providing the artists an international platform to share their talent with new audiences around the world to encourage a dialogue around pressing social issues and inspire social change.
  • The Freedom to Create Forum is a global platform for dialogue between innovative thinkers, to identify sustainable creative solutions that create inclusive opportunities for women to build prosperity for themselves, their families and communities.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Tel: +65 62105560

Contact in Cape Town, South Africa:
Karen Breytenbach, The Phoenix Partnership,,
Tel: +27 (0) 21 686 2331

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