Public Arts Festival Infecting The City Set To Captivate Cape Town


The 2019 edition of Cape Town's renowned public arts festival, Infecting The City (ITC) will be held from 18-24 November.

The festival is a collaborative effort between the University of Cape Town’s Institute for Creative Arts and curator, Jay Pather, who have once again teamed up to transform Cape Town’s communal spaces with popular public arts festival.

The six-day long festival will feature a series of daytime and nighttime events.

Lovers of the Arts can expect a diverse programme comprising of top South African and African artists from Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Eastern Cape, Zimbabwe and Namibia, who will be joined by international acts from the Netherlands, France and Switzerland. From vertical dancers on city walls to performance activity in parked cars, ITC 2019 will activate city spaces from the Castle to the station, the fountain to the Cathedral and beyond.

Emerging Voices in Public Art Curation

The 2019 festival has two curatorial fellows on board, young and upcoming independent curator, Amogelang Maledu and Elvis Sibeko.

Maledu is an independent curator, currently completing the Iziko Museums of South Africa graduate internship programme, focusing on art collections. For ITC 2019, Maledu is co-curating 15 artists for Programme 4 (Thursday), a self-guide map to clusters of art installations, some with performative elements, around Church Square, the Slave Lodge, Government Avenue and the Company’s Gardens, while Sibeko is an acclaimed dancer and choreographer, who brings extensive experience with traditional African productions. He will be curating two programmes – one traversing the city centre, the other with the Castle of Good Hope as a backdrop – that bring together contemporary and classical African performance of various kinds.

Classical African

“An emerging theme from this year’s proposals is work based in classical African tradition. Works that explore how classical African performance and rituals work inside of the urban space. This is also to create atmospheres of cleansing and interiority within these commercially driven, materialistic spaces,” says Jay Pather.

Infecting the City will be tackling issues such as women empowerment with productions that are not only performed by women but also curated and directed by women. “Women traverse a thin line of security in our public spaces. Foregrounding these issues in a public space is essential. And no amount of bringing this to the center and in public will be enough”, says Pather.

Headlining Acts

ITC 2019 will feature two phenomenal opening acts; 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance, Kitty Phetla’s collaboration with composer and pianist Nduduzo Makhatini, Going Back to the Truth of Space, will be headlining the ITC Opening Programme.

The work, which will be performed in the Whale Well at the South African Museum of Natural History, was premiered to critical acclaim at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda in July.

It reflects on African modes of performance and ritual, embracing the realm of the ancestors as an evolving space. Communicating in moments of improvisation, the performers transcend the ideas of home as geographic space and connect with ancestors using dance and music as a portal to the divine.

Click HERE for more information regarding the festival.

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