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Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za


 
Boeke | Books > Kennisgewings | Notices > English

WITS Arts and Literature Experience sets the stage for 2010!!!!


2010-03-04

WALE gives arts the edge with jam-packed 2010 programme:

It's just under two months until the 2010 Wits Arts and Literature Experience gets underway - and already the programme is set to make good on WALE's promise to deliver "arts on the edge".

Now in its third year, WALE takes place from April 21st to 24th at various venues on the Wits campus which is situated in the heart of Johannesburg's burgeoning Braamfontein precinct.

For the first time in its three year history, WALE 2010 will get underway with a bang on April 21st. The opening day's events will include a parade through the main campus and a number of arts performances on the Library Lawns. Later that evening, the official opening address by WALE founder and Dean of Humanities, Prof Tawana Kupe will be followed by a full throttle entertainment programme featuring music, dancing, performance poetry, and a big name DJ behind the decks.

One of the highlights of the four-day arts fest will be performances by Staceyann Chin, an iconic artist and one of the most original voices of her generation whose memoir about growing up in Jamaica, The Other Side Of Paradise has been lauded by critics and readers alike.

"I'm so thrilled to be coming back to South Africa for the Wits Arts & Literature Festival," says Chin who performed at the 2009 Urban Voices Festival to a highly receptive audience.

"The country's breathtaking landscape and the resilient spirit of the people move me to write more relevant work, to speak louder for women's rights, for children's rights, for human rights.

"Previous visits have shown me how much my Jamaica has in common with your South Africa; Joburg is a mirror of Kingston, any street in Cape Town could easily be Montego Bay. My memoir, The Other Side of Paradise could easily be the story of a girl in Soweto. Gatherings like WALE helps those of us in the African Diaspora to see a modern reflection of ourselves on the continent all black people call our genetic home."

Other highlights confirmed for the festival include Othello which will be staged at the Wits Theatre and directed by Dr John Kani with Sarah Roberts as production designer. Two other unmissable Wits Theatre performances during WALE will be the Greg Homann directed collaboration between Wits and New York University as well as the Gina Shmukler directed musical, ‘Songs for a New World.'

As in previous years, music is a strong feature of WALE's four-day programme.

Already confirmed is a unique collaborative performance in the Wits Amphitheatre featuring Jonathan Crossley (guitar) and Justin Badenhorst (drums) from the Wits Music Department, with Marc Duby (bass), head of Grahamstown Music Department, and American pianist John Fresk.

Literature forms a central part of WALE and this year the University's highly regarded Wits University Press will use the festival to launch several new book projects including those by David Dickinson (Sociology Department), and Chris Thurman (English Department). Panel discussions and a Book Exhibition are also being planned in partnership with Xarra Books and Pan Macmillan.

WALE will play host to the critically-acclaimed feature documentary ‘Zwelidumile' as well as a Q and A with the film's director, Ramadan Suleman. As All Movie Guide describes this moving film, "Using interviews with people around the world, this South African documentary recreates the life of artist Dumile Feni, a man who became an exile in 1968 and never knew his child. In 1991, Feni died just before his return to his native country and the long-awaited reunion with his wife and now-grown daughter. ‘Zwelidumile' not only explores Feni's experiences, but it also examines the life of the family he left behind, who will forever define him by his absence."

Several art exhibitions will be mounted in a part of the programme managed by the Wits Fine Art department. Among this will be an exhibition of the work of Vincent Baloyi.

A regularly updated programme will be available on a dedicated WALE website to be launched in the next few weeks.

Prof Tawana Kupe, WALE Champion in Chief and Dean of the Wits Faculty of Humanities says, "Our vision is to turn WALE into a premier arts and literature festival that draws people from Joburg, Gauteng, South Africa and the rest of the world - and I think we've made an excellent start in years one and two. This year we aim to take WALE to the next level, and we're working hard at creating a programme that does exactly that so watch this space!"

For programming details and ticketing information go to www.wale.ac.za or call Levinia Jones on 011 717- 4607.

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