Cape Town - If you’re in the city and wondering why there are random bursts of visual art surrounding you, it’s not a prank – you’re caught in a capsule of outdoor theatre on a mission to reclaim the streets through Infecting The City (ITC).
South Africa’s pioneering public art festival of music, dance, video, visual art, and more aims to make theatre available at no cost to the public.
The ITC 2023 edition was officially launched on Tuesday after a hiatus caused by the pandemic.
In collaboration with UCT’s Institute for the Creative Arts (ICA) and venues around city, artists across Cape Town showcase their finest talent through creating free spaces and platforms to showcase the arts.
Artists in the two-week festival line-up include Angelinah Maponya, Moving Stories Theatre Organisation, Auriol Hays, Clinton Osbourn, The Sex Worker Theatre Company, ANIKAYA Dance Theatre, Tim Zulauf, Sello Pesa, Deidre Jantjies, Toroga Denver Breda, Elvis Sibeko, The Nest Collective, Vida Fantabisher, Manila von Teez, Kat Gilardi, Jayde Kay Johnson, Mitchell Darling and more.
Performer Kat Gilardi from the “AbFab Drag” production said: “I feel the ITC initiative is a wonderful way of injecting even more arts and entertainment into our city of Cape Town and bringing a show from the Artscape Theatre centre is an amazing idea. People who don’t frequent the theatre will now get to see a show celebrating women at the venues all around town. I’m incredibly excited about this.”
Audiences are expected to pop up anywhere, so don’t be alarmed when you find yourself watching a production out the window of your office restroom.
The dynamic festival programme offers artists the opportunity to manipulate and interact with their environment to birth a blend of visuals, sound and technology experiences that transport audiences to new and engaging world.
The events originate from the festival’s curators, Professor Jay Pather, Nkgopoleng Moloi, Maganthrie Pillay and Themba Stewart, who have put together a collection of artistic vision to morph urban spaces into new vistas that challenge and caress the sights and sounds of the Mother City.
Pather said: “Infecting The City Public Art Festival has always been a modest, tentative yet powerful looking glass into a state of nation. Artists take up with great enthusiasm and rigour the possibility of interacting directly with an open space and an unpredictable audience. Consequently, the artwork always feels immediate and direct, allowing currents for electric interaction as well as reflection as one walks on to the next performance and the next chance encounter.”
Noble thespian Basil Appollis said: “Infecting The City is a wonderful way to bring vibrancy back into the city centre that only comes alive for work purposes or on Tweede Nuwejaar or when the Springboks does a victory parade. Public art is a wonderful part of our heritage and ITC helps us to share stories and complexities from far flung areas of the Mother City.”
The events take place from November 15–19 and then again on November 22–26 in various parts of the city. Times to be announced on their website.