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MEDIA RELEASE 7 JULY 2015

INAUGURAL VRYSTAAT ARTS FESTIVAL


GALLOPING INTO THE FUTURE
The first Vrystaat Arts Festival is starting off at a fast pace this July in
Bloemfontein, Mangaung, with the White Horse Project by international artist
Jess Olivieri. Two years in the making, this project will officially launch the
festival on 12 July, with a community march from the Two Tower Church in the
city centre to the white horse sculpture on the side of Naval Hill. The project
aims to create a new communal mythology for the region, with the integration of
Afrikaans, English, Sotho and other cultural histories into new performances,
poems, fashion, music and visual art.
Other public and Live Art projects include The Man with the Green Blanket by
Lesiba Mabitsela and Sethembilie Msezanes Love in the time of Afrophobia.
Mabitselas work explores the repercussions of the Marikana massacre, with five
men in green blanket costumes walking from different parts of the city to the
University of the Free State, gathering crowds as they walk for a performance
about the slain leader of the uprising, Mgcineni Mambush Noki. Msezanes
work is a three hour endurance performance, where she will invite passers by to
physically interact with her to counteract the recent xenophobic attacks in South
Africa.
The Program for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD), a partnership
between the Vrystaat Arts Festival and the University of the Free State, is
hosting the Arts, Innovation and Audience Diversity Forum, with keynote speaker
Donna Walker-Kuhne, Vice-President of Communications at the New Jersey
Performing Arts Centre. The forum will include panels of national and
international creative practitioners on arts/cultural policies such as Sarah
Gardner, CEO of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Cultural
Associations (IFACCA), Rosemary Mangope, CEO of the National Arts Council
of South Africa (NAC), Jerry Mofokeng, Artistic Director of the Performing Arts
Centre of the Free State (PACOFS) and Saartjie Botha, Director of the SU
Woordfees.
In addition to critically acclaimed theatre, music, visual arts, film and literature,
there will be an arts market with a range of arts, craft and gourmet food from
fresh Free State produce.
The festival will conclude with a memorial event commemorating 115 years
since the scorched earth policy implemented during the Anglo-Boer War in June
1900.
For further inquiries contact:
Roxanne Konco
Marketing Manager
Tel: +27 (0)51 404 7947 roxanne.konco@volksblad.com
www.vrystaatkunstefees.co.za

THE WHITE HORSE

Image Credits:
"The White Horse" Part 1a Jess Olivieri with The Parachutes for Ladies

THE MAN IN THE GREEN BLANKET by Lesiba Mabitsela

LOVE IN THE TIME OF AFROPHOBIA by Sethembile Msezane

Credit Image 2: Chapangu The Day Rhodes Fell

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