Round table discussion: Translating Crisis into Art –African Perspectives
On Wednesday 4 October 2017, from 14.00 to 18.00 hrs. the Afrovibes Festival will be organising a round table meeting for artists, arts professionals and arts students at De Balie. The theme of the meeting will be: Translating Crisis into Art –African Perspectives.
From time to time the discussion around the primary role of art among arts professionals resurfaces. Even more so in fragile democracies. What takes pride of place? Should art always be critical towards its political, social, cultural, or religious surroundings? Should the context in which art is created somehow be evident in the work? Or is there intrinsic value in its aesthetics?
These questions are of all times and of all places. In this panel debate artists in the Afrovibes programme and artists based in the Netherlands will be in dialogue on whether and how they personally translate crises of global, local or personal scale into art. To what extent do they feel a responsibility towards their audiences to reflect such issues in their work? Can a work not simply be beautiful in itself? What is the relation of realistic context to the pleasing aesthetics of their work? What is this assumption that artists intrinsically have the ability and the wisdom to speak out on political questions? Do artists legitimize their work in terms of its social relevance? Are they perhaps pressured by political agenda’s of their funders? Or do they, as artists, regard their work as fully autonomous?
This round table discussion will not be about presenting best practices, but about exposing the complexities and vulnerabilities of different artistic approaches. In this, Afrovibes hopes to facilitate a valuable dialogue.
PROGRAMME (English spoken):
13.30 Doors open
14.00 Opening: Poetry by AIR: Koleka Putuma (SA)
14.05 Word of welcome by Jay Pather – artistic director of Afrovibes, moderator of the afternoon
14.10 Keynote speech by Mark Fleishman - Professor of Theatre at the University of Cape Town, research associate at the University of Amsterdam
14.40 The artistic practice - 1st panel: Denise Newman, Florent Mahoukou, Lara Staal, Robyn Orlin,
15.40 Plenary conversation
16.00 Tea break
16.30 The artistic practice 2nd panel: Abhishek Thapar, Atang Tshikare, Buhle Ngaba, Faniswa Yisa, Gavin Krastin, Leila Anderson
17.30 Plenary conversation
17.50 Closing statements
18.00 Drinks and ample opportunity for recapitulating and getting better acquainted.
18.30 Opportunity to see the pop-up graphic arts and photography exhibition FRAGILE FREEDOM: WOMXN.
20.00 Opportunity to see performance DE-APART-HATE (SA) by Mamela Nyamza and to attend the ensuing panel discussion.