Preview: Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival 2020

Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival- at a glance

Date: August 9-31, 2020

Platform: All shows and events may be accessed via Artscape Website

Link to Artscape’s website:  

Cost: All shows/events are free – except Kirvan Fortuin Memorial Benefit Concert on August 10 – details below

Format: Most shows are offered as video-on-demand and may be viewed at any time during the specified time frame for each show. Book events will be hosted live.

The 14th edition of the Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival was launched on August 1. The links to shows and events go live on Sunday August 9.

As we are in the midst of the pandemic and the national lockdown in South Africa, the festival is going out digitally via Artscape’s website. Sadly, there will be no audience in the Artscape precinct. Some of the shows were filmed at Artscape – with strict adherence to social distancing, with sanitizing and other measures in place. But, if you wander down to Artscape, you will see that the complex is closed to the public. We are putting this out there because, in level 3 lockdown, some people are attempting to host small numbers in venues. This is not happening with the Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival 2020. Please do not pitch up at Artscape. It is all happening online.

Freedom and Inclusivity for All Humanity is the theme for the 2020 festival. This resonates profoundly in the pandemic and lockdown. The arts/live events industry has been shuttered and put on pause. Freedom and inclusivity has become even more challenging. It is great that Artscape, under the stewardship of its CEO, Dr Marlene Le Roux, is hosting this festival during a time when we humans need inspiration. We need to immerse ourselves in theatre, music, books, poetry. Theatre is a safe and creative space and although it is largely off limits in a physical sense, this festival gives us the opportunity to be present – virtually.

The direct booking links will go live on Sunday – August 9, 2020

The programme- Artscape Womens Humanity Arts Festival 2020:

August 9

Launch Showcase 1 including Jazzart Dance Theatre- An-Nur-  No charge. Time: 10am.

Female dancers from Cape Town’s acclaimed Jazzart Dance Theatre will perform An-Nur. This piece was created by dance-maker Vuyolwethu Nompetsheni, a 2018 graduate of the Jazzart three-year dance programme. Nompetshini says that “the piece reflects a mood and a movement which is resonating around the globe right now, with the dancers expressing the raw vulnerability of women everywhere, their pain to be heard and seen, and their daily struggles to be taken seriously. “

August 10

Launch Showcase 2 including Unmute Dance Theatre presents 21 Questions – Unmute-  No charge. Time: 10am.

This is an adaptation of Trapped which was created in 2015, by Unmute Dance Theatre. This work is based on the experiences of Nadine Mckenzie, who has lived with a disability since she was a toddler and who has to deal with questions from people about “disability”. In 21 Questions, stereotyping of disability is grappled with and interrogated. Choreography and performance is by Mckenzie,  under the direction of Themba Mbuli and with Siphenathi Mayekiso as puppeteer. 

August 10

Kirvan Fortuin Memorial Benefit Concert. Direct booking link: Tickets: R55. The link will be available at 7.30pm on video-on-demand. The concert is one hour and 30 minutes. The link will be available for a month on the site.

Kirvan Fortuin was a multi-talented artist –a dancer, choreographer and LGBTQI+ activist. He was murdered in Cape Town in June. This is a tribute concert that will feature renowned South African and international artists and includes dance, singing and poetry.

August 17-23

Liso the Musician in ZAF’INGANE, Ancestral Jazz- film.  No charge. Time: 10am.

Liso the Musician tags musical style ‘Ancestral Jazz’.  This extraordinary film was filmed at Artscape, during lockdown for The National Arts Festival. Outstanding cinematography and video direction by Motion Billy. Liso The Musician is accompanied by Ray Morgan (drums), Bradley Prince (lead guitar), Faresani Sikhwivhilu (bass guitar), and Lwazi Knowledge Masuku, Sonwabile Mhlonyane and Mendy The Musician as backing vocalists.

See review- from the screening at the vNAF- Virtual National Festival on the Curated Programme. Link no longer available for viewing on the NAF as the Curated Programme has ended. The film is available on Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival from August 17-23.

Zaf’ingane Ancestral Jazz- Liso The Musicianreview

August 24-31

#WeAreDyingHere- poetry/performance.   No charge. Time: 10am.

This acclaimed piece was written and is performed by Siphokazi Jonas, Hope Netshivhambe and Babalwa Makwetu. It is about processing violence against womxn –who are not safe. I watched this, live on stage at Artscape in February 2020.  Review link here.

The piece was recently selected as a Time Out pick in New York.

See review. Link below.

Woman Zone podcasts

The line-up of six women writers will talk about their books or books that they have published: Mother-and-daughter team Portia Mbau and Lumai Mira De Smidt [The Africa Cookbook] Colleen Higgs, founder of Modjaji women’s publishers [My Mother, My Madness], Kelly-Eve Koopman [Because I Couldn’t Kill You], Philippa Kabali-Kagwa [Storytelling as a breathing space], Olivia Cotzee [Innie Shadows] and Hedi Lampert [The Trouble with My Aunt].

Dates: August 1, 8, 15,22, 29 -at 10am

Links to the podcasts will be on the Artscape website and Woman Zone Facebook page and Website

Facebook: @Womanzonect

Woman Zone will be hosting a National Woman’s Day radio show, which will be broadcast on Fine Music Radio (FMR) on August 10 and featuring a line-up of women thought leaders and influencers

✔ Tune in on FMR 101.3 from 12 to 1pm

Image credit: Supplied. The photo is of the late Kirvan Fortuin- multi-talented artist –dancer, choreographer and LGBTQI+ activist. This Kirvan Fortuin tribute concert is on August 10 as part of The Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival.