It's Liberation Season at London's Frontline Club and as part of the lineup of events, they are screening the award-winning "theatrical documentary," We are Together, a story of children in a South African orphanage who use music to overcome hardship and loss.
The screening takes place at 7pm on September 24th.
Check out goodscreenings.org who are behind this particular screening. It's a very interesting model that's set to revolutionise film distribution.
Johannesburg's Apartheid Museum, is a must-visit if you're ever in town. The visitor is guided through 20th century South Africa in a series of 22 individual exhibition areas – each a different chapters of the apartheid story.
After my visit a few years ago, I was left with two particular impressions:
They've nailed it on the head: "a better world through creativity". Yes, I may be biased but I'm clearly not the only one who believes in the power of creativity to create a better future. Design Indaba, founded in 1995, has been acting upon this belief and demonstrating just how design, and creativity in general, can drive an economic revolution in South Africa. With their annual conference, an acclaimed international design event, they bring together creatives from all sectors – graphic design, advertising, film, music, fashion design, industrial design, architecture, craft, visual art, new media, publishing, broadcasting and performing arts.
South African-born Bessie Head spent most of her writing life in exile in Botswana, eventually becoming a citizen. The perpetual outsider (Bessie was born of a wealthy white woman and black servant in a time where interracial relationships were illegal), her works often deal with the different psychological dimensions of identity. Among her novels are A Question of Power, The Collector of Treasures and Maru.
Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje was the first Secretary-General of the ANC and one of the first black South Africans to have a book published in English. This book was Mhudi, published in 1930, a magnificent piece of historical fiction chronicling the creation of nationhood in the south of Africa.
A member of the Drum boys, whose dictum was "live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse," Can Themba's writing graphically depicts urban life in 1950s South Africa. He explores conflicts between the modern urban setting and the rural traditional one as well as telling of the effect of Apartheid policy on the aspirations of young, hopeful, educated blacks. Requiem for Sophiatown and The Will to Die are among his works. (Can Themba's Drum days must have inspired Janet Jackson's "Got Til It's Gone" video)
Celebrating the start of the World Cup, it's SA week on Afri-love! Because the arts are such a powerful vehicle for instilling pride, inspiring and generally stirring emotion, we will be showcasing a slice of the flourishing creativity coming out of the host nation. Look forward to dedicated posts on fine art, literature, design, activist art and of course: music!
Above, Peter Sibanda's almost technicolour portraits of contemporary South Africans appear at once so bright and rosy yet have a surreal quality that hints at the transcient nature of that moment. See more of his work here
Above, the work of Vusi Khumalo who left South Africa in 1986 because of his ANC involvement and went to live in ANC camps in Zambia and Tanzania. It is in Tanzania where he properly started to explore his life-long hobby – art. Khumalo creates collages reconstructing the gritty reality of life in South African squatter camps. The small images here don't begin to do justice to the texture of the works! Read more here.
I discovered Simphiwe Dana a couple of years ago when I went to see her in concert in London. Her music, her vibe, really moved me. I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with her, on a cold Liverpool street after her show, earlier this year and she was incredibly wise and down to earth. With her composure and quiet beauty, one might mistake her for being timid but in her music and in her thoughts, she is truly a warrior! A champion of African pride and universal respect.
“I am a very cultured person … As [African people] we were made to feel inferior and a lot of African people stopped practicing their culture because it was seen as witchcraft or uncivilized. My music is inspired by African people and the love they have for song.”