After dusk on Saturday February 21, the FNB Dance Umbrella opens with Screen Factor 8. Directed and choreographed by Sue Pam-Grant, produced by Blue Moon and featuring the Moving Into Dance Mophatong Performance Company, the piece is a large-scale, 20-minute-long multi-media production, writes Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon.
"Arts festivals are about discovery, about exploration ... I want everyone here to have fun," said Pallo Jordan at the opening of the National Arts Festival. "Let us have a good time. Look at things. See how others see us and perhaps we'll discover something about ourselves in an environment and in a context in which we're enjoying ourselves." Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon was there.
With a six-person cast, <i>There's No Room in This Bed</i> managed to squeeze in examinations of the power dynamics of personal relationships, but at times the piece battles to find its voice. Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon reviews.
Significant developments are underway to integrate Grahamstown's impoverished periphery into the National Arts Festival, both economically and culturally. Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon takes to the townships in search of the other National Arts Festival.
In the industrial landscape around the Johannesburg inner city, about 24 000 migrant men live in single-sex hostels. A further 15 000 men and women live in informal settlements. Sixty-eight percent of the men and 80% of the women unemployed. But a programme called Mpilonhle-Mpilonde is upgrading the quality of life in hostels and informal settlements through group-based learning.
Ten years into our democracy, gender inequity remains a challenge. Since 1994 we have seen significant changes in policy development that reflect the government's commitment to responding to this challenge. But implementation of progressive policies has been uneven and the high levels of unemployment, HIV/Aids and sexual violence against women have created a dire situation that government departments have struggled to respond to.
''Now, you have black faces riding in limousines along with white faces. But, the social and economic system has not changed, maybe even gotten worse.'' Linguist Noam Chomsky has become a leading dissident voice in the United States. He talks exclusively to the M&G.