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Sunday, August 1, 2021

SUPPORT FOR NATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL MAKHANDA

(Left: “Initiation” - Is’Thatha Dance Project. Photo by Mark Wessels)

Take just a few moments today to support the arts. Your words have the power to make dreams come true, and help #keeptheartsalive.  Visit the #BankOfDreams here

https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/bankofdreams

and leave a message of encouragement and support for the arts: https://arts.standardbank.co.za/

“This is an incredible initiative to help support artists financially,” says well-known multi award-winning Durban-based producer and director of KickstArt productions, Steven Stead.

“All you need to do is click on the link, and create a brief message of support for the arts and artists, and for every message received, Standard Bank will put money into a fund to pay creatives who exhibited their work on the virtual NAF. Please consider investing two minutes of your time to make a real difference in these artists' lives.”

At 3,700 messages, up to R500,000 will be unlocked for our fringe artists from Standard Bank - Arts. Make an artist's dream possible!

THE RAIN FALLS WHERE IT WILL: DIFF REVIEW

This nuanced family drama is a melancholic contemplation of life, death and family from an entirely different perspective. (Review by David Walker)

The Rain Falls Where it Will features on this year’s Durban International Film Festival DIFF 2021 which is being screened virtually from Thursday July 22 until Sunday August 1, 2021.

Director: Majid Barzegar

Cast: Nazanin Ahmadi, Mazdak Mirebedini Alireza Sani Far, Arshia Nikbin, Hamidreza Maleki, Kaveh Hadi-Moghaddam

This film is in Farsi with English Subtitles

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

 

The 2020 film The Rain Falls Where it Will is Iranian director Majid Barzegar’s contemplative multi-generational character study of a family in crisis.

Majid Barzegar has not achieved the international status of his fellow Iranian director Asghar Farhadi who walked away with the Best Foreign Language film Oscar in 2016 for his superb film The Salesman, however Barzegar does explore the intricate relationships of a family as his nuanced story with the somewhat lackluster title of The Rain Falls Where it Will which follows a middle -aged nurse Sara, expertly played by Nazanin Ahmadi, who is sent away from Tehran up north to look after a wealthy patriarch who has had a stroke.

Sara arrives at a remote and somewhat palatial mansion near the ocean and has to deal with a grandfather whose three children, a son and two daughters are all pessimistic that their father won’t recover as he lies bedridden with a stoke.

As a nurse, Sara intuitively feels that her patient has a chance of recovery and that the family should not make the critical decision to switch off the life support machines which are keeping the patriarch alive.

The emotional crux of this nuanced Iranian film are the scenes between the hired nurse Sara and the grandson Aria who explains that he thinks his grandfather has a chance of recovery. Upon further discussion, Sara discovers that the cheeky and petulant grandson had given his grandfather weed which possibly made his grandfather see a Pink Whale on the shoreline near their family estate.

The Rain Falls Where it Will is a slight and fascinating film about a family who are contemplating the impending death of their patriarch while the nurses discovers that sometimes questions of life and death are sometimes more intuitive than medical.

This nuanced family drama is a melancholic contemplation of life, death and family from an entirely different perspective. Iranian cinema is rarely seen in the Western World so it is always a treat to watch some brilliant cinema even if it is that brief glimpse into a nation which is exiled from the media and labelled a pariah state.

Cinema transcends geographic boundaries so viewers take a chance on The Rain Falls Where it Will, which gets a film rating of 7 out of 10, which is recommended viewing.- David Walker

For more information on the Durban International Film Festival visit https://ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za/ 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

BUSINESS AND ARTS SOUTH AFRICA AWARDS FINALISTS

Finalists for the 24th annual BASA Awards partnered by Hollard.

24th BASA Awards theme calls for the creative sector to RISE.

One of the creative sector’s most anticipated awards events, the 24th Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard, shines a spotlight on partnerships with the arts that have, through their projects, made a positive impact.

“Art stimulates creativity. Businesses that understand the power of art to the mind, heart, and the bottom-line collaborate with creatives and through their work champion change, social cohesion, growth and well-being. Since its inception, the BASA Awards have recognised and celebrated these impactful business and art collaborations says BASA Chairman, Charmaine Soobramoney.

“Across seven categories and a Special Award, the 2021 BASA Awards once again highlight the many ways in which business and the creative sector have successfully collaborated despite the challenges presented by the pandemic this past year,” she adds.

According to BASA CEO, Ashraf Johaardien, the theme for this year, “RISE”, is both a celebration and a call to action. “Inspired by the great Maya Angelou poem Still I Rise, we felt it was important to acknowledge, augment and amplify the resilience of the arts sector and the business partnerships that have helped them endure; a quality that is reflected in the reimagining of content and context found in the projects and very determination of the projects chosen,” he explains.

“The recent turmoil in South Africa has fortunately also brought with it a beautiful demonstration of the resilience that comes from a true sense of community. It is this sense of community, this acknowledgement that we are all in this together, this idea that we can be better together, that gives us the power to rise above any challenge we face as a society. The BASA Awards are a celebration of this ability to transcend and embrace a better future and we look forward to recognising the businesses, artists and art organisations who make this possible” says Heidi Brauer, Hollard’s Chief Marketing Officer.

There are 20 finalists in the 7 Awards categories, as follows:

The Community Development Award recognises support for arts and culture projects enhancing their communities, whether through education, skills development, contributing to livelihoods or employment, tourism, or other growth opportunities in the community. The finalists are:

 -Investec StartUp School and Marimba Jam (Pty) Ltd, for Marimba Jam

-Mindspace Consulting CC (t/a Museum Store Africa) and Impact Space, for Masks4Good – a community collective

-Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Ltd, and Outreach Foundation, for Letters to You and Me – an intergenerational project

 

The SMME Award is for vital support given to the arts by a micro, small or medium enterprise with up to 200 full-time employees and an annual turnover of no more than R10 million. The finalists are:

-Mindspace Consulting CC (t/a Impact Space) and Womandlachallenge, for the Womandlachallenge

-Mrs Woolf (Pty) Ltd and Artist Proof Studio, for The Lockdown Collection

-The Bantry Bay Suite Hotel and The Rainbow Academy, School of Performing Arts and Business, for The Rainbow Academy: Making Rainbows in the Time of Covid-19-South Africa

 

The First-Time Sponsor Award is for a sponsor supporting the arts for the first time, regardless of size, budget, whether it is through CSI, marketing, HR, B-BBEE or other. The finalists are:

-Adcock Ingram Critical Care and The National School of the Arts, for LIFELINES – Chandelier Installation

-Mindspace Consulting CC (t/a Impact Space) and Womandlachallenge, for the Womandlachallenge

-Sirdar and Artist Proof Studio, for The Lockdown Collection

 

The Sponsorship In-Kind Award acknowledges a sponsor giving quantifiable and impactful non-monetary support to the arts. This may be through in-kind provision of equipment, materials, media or PR support, space, transportation or travel, or any other products or services, as opposed to monetary sponsorship. The finalists are:

-AkzoNobel South Africa / Dulux South Africa and Baz-Art, for the International Public Art Festival

-Royal Hotel Riebeek Kasteel and Arts Town Riebeek Valley, for the Royal Arts Town Amphitheatre Summer Theatre Season

-The Bantry Bay Suite Hotel and The Rainbow Academy, School of Performing Arts and Business, for The Rainbow Academy: Making Rainbows in the Time of Covid-19-South Africa

 

The Innovation Award celebrates the most innovative, cutting edge and progressive partnership that served all partners’ purposes effectively. These breakthrough projects and partnerships should demonstrate great creativity, originality, reinvention, new methodologies, or technological/digital innovation. The finalists are:

-Mrs Woolf (Pty) Ltd and Artist Proof Studio, for The Lockdown Collection

-MTN SA Foundation and UJ Gallery, for UJ’s Moving Cube breaks ground with MTN’s Blind Alphabet

-The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and the National Arts Festival, for the Virtual National Arts Festival

 

The Long-Term Partnership Award recognises outstanding initiative and commitment to the arts over a longer term period (at least three years) as an integral part of the sponsor’s strategy. The value to the arts project, the broader community and the sponsor, must be apparent. The finalists are:

-MTN SA Foundation and UJ Gallery, for the UJ Art Gallery and MTN SA Foundation Partnership

-Nando’s and Spier Arts Trust, for the Nando’s Creative Exchange

-Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Ltd, and Outreach Foundation, for Letters to You and Me – an intergenerational project

 

The Beyond Borders Partnership Award recognises a partnership that builds brand reputation and audience for both partners across borders, through a project showcasing South Africa to the rest of the continent and/or overseas, or bringing international or intercontinental arts projects to South Africa. The finalists are:

-The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and African Artists for Development (ADD), for Lumieres d’Afriques

-The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and the National Arts Festival, for the Virtual National Arts Festival

 

The independent adjudication panel for the BASA Awards is chaired by Khanyi Mamba (Marketing Communications Manager: Sub-Saharan Africa, Cambridge Assessment International Education).

Also on the 2021 panel are Heidi Brauer (Chief Marketing Officer, Hollard Insurance), Kojo Baffoe (entrepreneur, author and editor), Lerato Matsoso (Entertainment Editor: Sunday Sun and Daily Sun), Makgati Molebatsi (Senior Art Specialist: Aspire Art Auctions), and Theresho Selesho (creative entrepreneur and CEO: Matchbox Live). The primary concern of the panel is to evaluate each nomination on its level of success and creativity in achieving both the business and arts organisations’ objectives. The Awards are audited by Middel & Partners, and the winners will be announced on August 30, 2021.

Business and Arts South Africa NPC (BASA) was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative between government and the private sector as part of a strategy to secure greater involvement in the arts and from businesses operating in South Africa. Constituted in terms of the Companies Act, BASA is registered as a public benefit organisation. BASA champions business investment within the arts, cultural and heritage sector, driving focused and sustained partnerships by unlocking shared value and fostering social cohesion.

For more information, click on the advert to the right of this article or visit www.basa.co.za

BLARNEY AND SON FOR ST CLEMENTS

(David and Tony Fisher)

The next Mondays at Six at St Clements will take place on August 2, 2021, at 18h00 and will feature Blarney and Son.

Pieter Scholtz and friends invite patrons to share an evening of music, merriment, wining and dining. Feeling everyone is in need of a tonic-pick-me-up they have shelved, for now, the previously planned programme. And instead, asked Blarney and Son - Tony Fisher and David Fisher – will infuse the audience with their creative talent, zest and energy.

Everyone who comes along will be eligible for a “lucky draw”, prize courtesy Val Coppin-Shaw.

Blarney and Son (click through to their Facebook page) are both old(er) — and new — on the scene.

Blarney Brothers legend Tony Fisher (most recently seen at St Clements with Mais Que Nada!) is “Blarney” in the duo.

“... and Son” is David Fisher, a musician in his own right who, when doing things solo, plays blues, jazz, flamenco, funk, folk and more. Most recently the duo played the Rhumbelow in Kloof.

As this is a pass-the-hat no-couvert event, when the donations box is passed around, please consider a contribution of a minimum of R50 per person.

Wear a mask. Covid protocols observed.

Outdoors (dress accordingly) and carefully spaced seating.

Table Bookings Essential: RSVP ST Clements 031 202 2511

Bookings limited to diners only in support of St Clements restaurant and staff. (They stay open especially for the evening). The new Covid-safe system means menus will be brought to tables. Orders entered separately as before.

For more information contact Wanda Hennig on 072 664 3170.

DIFF ANNOUNCES AWARDS WINNERS AND ADDS THREE NEW CATEGORIES


(Above: “A Little Bird Reminds Me”, winner of the Best Feature Film award)

The Durban International Film Festival, organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, announced its award winners on Saturday, July 31, 2021, during the live Facebook award ceremony of the festival’s 42nd edition, ahead of the screening of its closing documentary film, Threshold by Brazilian director Coraci Ruiz.

The announcement comes as the festival rounds off a very successful year, with a significant increase in online attendance. CCA Director Ismail Mahomed says of this year’s event: “I was delighted with the success of DIFF 2021, and it was very gratifying to view a large number of streams and also to see the huge enthusiasm from our South African audiences for the festival.”

In the spirit of being a champion for democracy, human rights, social justice, creative education and access to the arts for all, The Centre for Creative Arts introduced three new awards categories.  “We want to award recognition to filmmakers, organisations, and institutions who share in our commitment to engage the cinematic arts to grow, mature and defend our democracy,” says Mahomed.

The inaugural DIFF Promoting Access to Cinema Award was won by the mobile cinema project Sunshine Cinema for their outstanding work that brings sustainable and free screenings in predominantly communities. The inaugural DIFF Film in Education award was won by non-profit media company STEPS for producing over 100 documentaries for a diverse range of public education projects. The third inaugural award, the DIFF Human Rights Award, went to filmmaker Enver Samuels for creating documentaries that played a vital role in documenting the lives of South African human rights legends and unearthing the need for a thorough investigation into the deaths of assassinated political leaders such as Dulcie September and Ahmed Timol.

At the awards ceremony, the festival’s highest accolade of Best Feature Film went to Chinese director Shin Xin’s masterful A Little Bird Reminds Me, from a selection of competition films that the international jury described as “diverse in topics and styles”. The Best Feature Film award carries a cash prize of R50,000. Xin was also honoured with the award for Best Director, with the jury saying, “This director reminds us that sometimes less is more.” The jury commended Xin’s film for “having a light touch, beautiful cinematography, and a story that refreshingly unfolds.”

The Best South African Feature Film award, which carries a prize of R25,000, was a challenging choice to make, as the circumstances could not be ignored. The jury emphasises that the films in competition were all by first filmmakers. Due to the pandemic, 2020 was a very difficult year for film in South Africa, which the jury did consider in making their choice.

The award went to Cape Town production Sons of the Sea, directed by John Guttierez. The jury stated that they chose the film because it “poignantly displays the power of relationships for good and evil”.

(Left: “Downstream to Kinshasa”, winner of the Best Documentary award)

Best Documentary was awarded to the Congolese director Dieudo Hamadi’s Downstream to Kinshasa. According to the jury, “We were taken by using the tool of theatre in this Documentary. It was beautifully expressed and conducted. We found the storytelling stylish, even though the subject matter was complicated.”

The accolade for Best South African Documentary had joint winners of I Am Here, directed by Jory Sank and Murder in Paris, directed by Enver Samuels. According to the jury, “both of these stories are unique stories about freedom and survival.”

This year's festival had a powerful selection of 53 short films, and the shorts jury had the difficult task of choosing the winners.

The Best South African Short Film was awarded to the King Shaka themed animation Shaka Inkosi Yamakhosi directed by Manzini Zungu for its fresh, unique and decolonial take on history.

The best African Short Film went to the South African What Did You Dream? by Karabo Lediga. “We wanted to distinguish the film for its breath-taking mise-en-scene,  magical realism and surprising ending, but also for the director’s great feel for working with children actors.”  said the jury.

(Right: “Ala Kachuu-Take and Run”, winner of the Best Short Film award)

The Best Short Film unanimously went to Ala Kachuu-Take and Run by director Maria Brendle from Kyrgyzstan “all of us will remember this film for a very long time”, said the jury.

Aside from the winners, the jury added special mentions for Lakushon’ Ilanga, by which they were deeply touched; TukTuk was commended for the extraordinary acting, The World’s Best Orchestra, for its universal topic presented with an excellent sense of humour. Also, special mentions went to the animation TIO, which surprised the jury and Dustin for changing the way people look at the world.

The complete list of awards is as follows:

Best Actor: Seounggyun An - My Son

Best Actress: Tsholo Maseko - Pusha Pressa Phanda

Best Screenplay: My Son

Best Director: SHI Xin - A Little Bird Reminds Me

Best South African Feature Film: Sons of the Sea

Best Feature Film: A Little Bird Reminds Me

 

Artistic Bravery: Pusha Pressa Panda

 

Best South African Documentary: I Am Here

Best South African Documentary: Murder in Paris

Best Documentary: Downstream to Kinshasa

 

Best South African Short Film: Shaka Inkosi Yamakhosi

Best African Short Film: What Did You Dream?

Best Short Film: Ala Kachuu - Take and Run

 

Amnesty Durban Human Rights Award: I, Mary

 

DIFF Human Rights Award: Enver Samuels

DIFF Film In Education Award: STEPS

DIFF Access to Cinema Award: Sunshine Cinema

 

Tomorrow (Sunday, August 1, 2021) is the last day during which all films will be screening on www.durbanfilmfest.com

The 42nd Durban International Film Festival is organised by the Centre For Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) with the support of the KZN Film Commission, the National Arts Council, the Department of Arts Sports and Culture, and the National Film and Video Awards.

For more information visit https://ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za/

 

NANCY DREW SEASON 2

(Left: Kennedy McMann takes the title role)

Season 2: Episode 1 of Nancy Drew takes place this evening (July 31, 2021) on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 20h30.

Nancy Drew is an American supernatural mystery drama television series based on the series of mystery novels about the titular character. The series was adapted for The CW by Noga Landau, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, and is produced by CBS Studios, in association with Fake Empire.

The series is narrated and led by the amateur sleuth Nancy Drew, played by Kennedy McMann, and features an ensemble cast with re-imagined versions of the characters from the books: Leah Lewis as George Fan, Maddison Jaizani as Bess Marvin, Tunji Kasim as Ned Nickerson and Scott Wolf as Carson Drew. It also stars Alex Saxon, Alvina August and Riley Smith as new characters invented for the series.

Nancy & co work to outsmart the Aglaeca, the vengeful sea spirit that cursed them at the end of Series 1. But mysteries pile up when Detective Tamura reveals that a young woman who was struck by a car in the woods said Nancy’s name just before she passed out. That young woman is Amanda Bobbsey and yes, she has a twin brother named Gil who’s now missing… along with the magic mirror that the twins believe the “Drew Crew” can use to subdue the Aglaeca.

MY LIFE IN COLOUR: ROY STARKE


(Above: “Highlands Canyon”)

My Life In Colour, an exhibition of quilts by Roy Starke in the Main Gallery at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg will be opened online tomorrow (August 1, 2021) at 11h00 by Christo Rabie. 

Watch online at https://mailchi.mp/68e01cb9143c/august or connect through https://www.tatham.org.za/ or You Tube 

Roy Starke was born in 1954 and died in 2018, leaving behind a wealth of art quilts – powerful and rich in meaning.

His art works reflect his perspective of reality or conception of what he regarded as reality. He developed his own personal visual language in colour and composition, and placed the emphasis on design, emotional impact and content.

Needle and thread became instruments for the power of ideas.

(Left: "African Refractions")

Starke drew from the tradition of embroidery, but then painted the surfaces to provide additional texture.

To him there was no right or wrong in art. It had to be authentic and the vision had to be clear.

The exhibition runs until October 31, 2021, at 14h00 and will be available to view as soon as COVID protocols allow for the Gallery to re-open to the public.

For more information contact reena.bhoodram@msunduzi.gov.za or 033 392 2823

LOST: DIFF REVIEW

“Lost” is a movie well worth watching if you appreciate mind-bending dramas. (Review by Barry Meehan)

Lost features on this year’s Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2021 which is being screened virtually from Thursday July 22 until Sunday August 1, 2021.

Morocco

Duration: 2 hours 8 minutes

Language: Arabic (English subtitles)

Writer / director: Driss Roukhe

Genre: Drama


Half an hour into watching this Moroccan film, I found myself utterly and completely at one with the title – lost! But it later became apparent that it had achieved exactly what it meant to achieve – taking its viewers along on a dizzying fantasy ride, where we cannot be sure – or even guess – what might be real or imagined.

A youngish woman, Rayna, is alone in an up-market house, except for a nurse (who reminds one of a Gestapo officer) and a weird, gormless-looking manservant, who is more of a stalker. The nurse is continually feeding Rayna medicines. The question is – does she need the meds, or is she being force-fed something in order to control her? If so, who is behind it all, and why? Good questions, which are only answered at a much later stage.

The next question that arises is “where is Omar?” – her husband, who has not answered his phone for days. Rayna believes that he is with another woman, and causes a scene – night after night – at a local bar, accusing the singer of having an affair with him. Of course, the singer denies all knowledge of Omar, and we are left wondering if he is real or a figment of Rayna’s imagination, a memory that becomes more indistinct as time passes.

Rayna – although one might think it to start with – is not being held against her will, but is free to roam the countryside, most nights as drunk as the proverbial skunk. Close to her home on every trip, she goes through a road block, manned by Halim (who looks a bit like Inspector Clouseau). He wants to protect her, and would appear to be in love with her. But is he? Who knows? He could be, but then maybe …… ?

Even more questions arise:

Who is the mysterious Mr Charqi, who meets Rayna every night at the coffee bar at her local gas station? Is he part of some plot against her?

And then there’s Mr Driss. Is he the kingpin behind the plot? And what exactly is “the plot”? And who is it aimed at? And why?

The further the movie goes, the more confusing some aspects appear, but fortunately all comes clear during the last quarter of the two-hour film, and we are led through a maze of mind manipulation, with memory erasing and implanting, steering Rayna in the direction her manipulators want her to take. Fortunately, she has a strong personality which takes over when she avoids taking the force-fed drugs, and rejects recent memory implants.

All is revealed before the final curtain, when we realise exactly who Rayna is/was, and the sinister plot behind it all. “Lost” is a movie well worth watching if you appreciate mind-bending dramas. – Barry Meehan

For more information on the Durban International Film Festival visit https://ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za/

Friday, July 30, 2021

DREAMS AS R-EVOLUTION ‘RE-INTERPRETED’ AT IZIKO NATIONAL GALLERY


(Allegory of the Vanity of the Plastic Spoon)

The Dreams as R-evolution installation which first developed in a plant nursery at UKZN's Westville campus, now finds a new home and is re-interpreted by the artist, Coral Bijoux for the IZIKO national Gallery. Where she engages SPACE as a place of power, authority and access, the work challenges the Colonial space of almost 149 years.

Dreams as R-evolution is a site-specific, multi-media installation that encompasses sculptural forms, drawings, paintings, photographs and costume. Engaging with the ideas of conditioning, evolution, and revolution, the artist, Coral Bijoux, invites us to participate in a conversation about our ability to transform ourselves and our environments (knowing from what we must transform), and daring us to reimagine ideas of self, space, authority/power and innocence: the four core narrative elements of the installation. Is there any other way for us to be human, she asks? 

“Plastic collected from industrial and household bins and dumpsites is the predominant material here: single-use, builders’ and packaging materials, and discarded plastic-based objects. The installation, however, is not about recycling or the idea that we can reverse human impact by recycling our behaviours. Plastic, as a metaphor, is used to reflect on humanity: our practices, habits and values. Plant life engages the relationship between organic and inorganic materials, and is a critical knowledge system that speaks of place and acts on space, as much as it is acted on by the context. The ‘self’ is central too: it is the protagonist who attempts to r-evolutionise the self, in particular space. All these elements merge in the installation to signal transformative potential.

“The installation, then, is offered as a provocation, a space for imagining the world differently and is an act of self-actualisation,” she continues.

(Spoon detail - Dreams as R-evolution-IZIKO-2021)

The Dreams as R-evolution installation was conceived in 2018 and developed over a nine-month period (2019-2020) in a neglected plant nursery at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) Westville campus, bordering the Palmiet Reserve. This was after many doors were closed to Bijoux as she sought out the appropriate place for this work to evolve. The nursery space teemed with life: insects, birds, snakes, lizards, meerkat, monkeys, plants, sky, wind, sun, rain and people on the university campus. In this ‘unnatural’-natural open-air space, the artist had to observe, listen and create, even if thwarted by the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions. Over the months, the disused nursery evolved into a dreamscape where the artist mused about the dreams that were “klapped out of her” from an early age.

Lionel Davis, artist and struggle veteran, commented about the installation at the nursery: “…this journey of joyous fantasy that you have created…you transformed this neglected wilderness strewn with rubbish into a playground for young and old. We are all victims of conformity, shackled for too long to what others have decided we should be.

The Dreams as R-evolution installation has found ‘a new environment’ at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town. Of this space, Bijoux says, “I am conscious of the effects of the Dreams as R-evolution within this formal structure – in one of South Africa’s older colonial buildings (about 150 years) – the land on which the Gallery sits belongs to us all and as such, we will engage this space as ours, offering new meanings to it. In ’greening the gallery’, I engage the historical countenance by muralling the walls, inserting icons, symbols and words that evoke the past in the present.”

Drawing attention to conversations (and boundaries) about art and environment, between ‘indoors’ and ‘outdoors’, the installation explores contemporary art-making practices and ways of exhibition making. It is a prompt to ask pertinent questions about place and land; about valued knowledge systems; about behaviour and practices; about the place of the human.

For more information on the installation at SANG or to book group dream workshops, contact Ingrid Masondo, Iziko Curator of Photography and New Media on +27 21 481 3956 or at imasondo@iziko.org.za

 

About the artbook:

Dreams as R-evolution (at UKZN campus) was observed over a period by some writers, poets, musicians and members from the Social, Art and Life Science faculties at UKZN, who were invited to produce a 365-word creative contribution for the Dreams as R-evolution artbook. The artbook, edited by Ashraf Jamal, includes contributions by Andre Croucamp, Coral Bijoux, Diana Ferrus, Himansu Baijnath, Malika Ndlovu, Pralini Naidoo, Roger Jardine, Salim Washington and UBIZO (band), Sven Christian, Tracy-Lee Easthorpe and Usha Seejarim. Copies are available for order via Print Matters at https://www.printmatters.co.za/ or directly from the artist at  https://coral4art.co.za/

 

Acknowledgement:

The Dreams as R-evolution installation and artbook has been made possible by the generous support of the National Arts Council (NAC), the Human Elephant Foundation, the National Institute of the Human and Social Sciences (NIHSS) and interested individuals. Selected plants at ISANG have been donated and cared for by Dr Yvette Abrahams, a permaculturist, farmer and founder of KhoeLife.

 

DURBAN VINTAGE & SIDE HUSTLE MARKETS

Pop down to the Point tomorrow (Saturday, July 31) for a retro-inspired day. The venue is Dolos, 5 Southampton Street in Durban’s Point area, with Vintage Station (in the adjoining 70 Mahatma Gandhi Road) as the epicentre spilling out into the enclosed courtyard and Dolos, the multifunctional event space next door. The market runs from 10h30 to 16h00.

There is free safe parking at uShaka (better than street parking due to the roadworks in the area).

The vendor mix includes carefully curated vintage goods, retro household collectables, pre-loved and vintage clothing, d├ęcor items, costume jewellery and loads of fashion…. And coffee and cake!

Durban Vintage and Side Hustle Market is about the amazing resilience and creativity that exist in Durban. In moments of struggle and uncertainty we have seen so many incredible transformations of people reinventing and innovating new ways to move forward. The market aims to highlight and create opportunity for small Durban business to be able to sell their products.

Vintage Station is also open

The Street Lit vendors will be there selling quality second hand books

If interested in becoming a vendor or require more information, email dolosonpoint@gmail.com

Covid protocols apply.

 

VALENTINA: DIFF REVIEW

There are many questions raised in this well-made Brazilian movie, the main one being freedom of choice to be whatever you want to be, along with how possible or impossible it is to keep a community happy with their vision of a “normal” neighbourhood? (Review by Barry Meehan)

Valentina features on this year’s Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2021 which is being screened virtually from Thursday July 22 until Sunday August 1, 2021

Brazil

Duration: 1 hour 35 minutes

Language: Portuguese (English subtitles)

Writer / director: Cassio Pereira dos Santos

Valentina: Thiessa Woinbackk

Julio: Ronaldo Bonafro

Amanda: Leticia Franco

Genre: Drama

 

Valentina (17 years old, formerly Raul) is well on the way to becoming the woman she always saw herself as. Her mother is 100% behind her transformation, but is now a single parent, as her husband left her and Valentina to their own devices, and is nowhere to be found. She and her daughter move to a small town in Brazil to start a new life for themselves.

The fact that the father is nowhere to be found would normally not be a problem, but because Valentina wants to register at her new school under her new “social name” as opposed to her birth name, Brazilian law and the school require both parents to sign the enrolment form, so the search starts for the missing father. Fortunately, there is time as the new term only starts in a few weeks.

Valentina attends summer school in the meantime and forms strong bonds with a pregnant Amanda and gay Julio, neither of whom fit in with their peers, so they understand Valentina’s hesitancy at wanting to tell potential school mates her secret.

The three attend a New Year’s costume party. Julio promises to look after Valentina, ensuring she does not have too much to drink, but reneges on his promise after a handsome stranger gives him the eye, and Julio finds it impossible to resist the man’s magnetism. Valentina passes out on a bed and wakes to find a stranger in a vampire costume groping her up. The search is then on for the identity of the stranger, which leads to a confrontation with his elder brother, who tries to sweep the whole affair under the carpet to protect everyone concerned.

Unfortunately, Valentina’s secret comes out, and a photo of her face superimposed on a male body does the round of the school students, leading to protests from parents, and a rock being thrown through a glass panel in the front door of their residence. The story takes several twists and turns, and ends with a pretty explosive climax on Valentina’s first day at school for the new term.

There are many questions raised in this well-made Brazilian movie, the main one being freedom of choice to be whatever you want to be, along with how possible or impossible it is to keep a community happy with their vision of a “normal” neighbourhood? Who feel more of an outcast – gays or transgenders? The questions pile up thick and fast, doing what every good movie should do – make one think! – Barry Meehan

For more information on the Durban International Film Festival visit https://ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za/

GRANADA NIGHTS: DIFF REVIEW

“Granada Nights” gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and is an enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes, a lovely film that beautifully embraces all the energies of the transient youth. Highly recommended viewing. (Review by David Walker)

Granada Nights features on this year’s Durban International Film Festival DIFF 2021 which is being screened virtually from Thursday July 22 until Sunday August 1, 2021.

Director: Abid Khan

Cast: Antonio Aakeel, Oscar Casas, Quintessa Swindell, Virgile Bramly, Julius Fleischanderl, Laura Frederico, Alice Sanders

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

This film is in English with minimal subtitles.

This film has not been released commercially yet and is only available to watch in South Africa as part of the Durban International Film Festival DIFF2021 online programme.

 

Writer and director Abid Khan takes the viewer through a whimsical and exploratory film about young people travelling in Southern Spain in his delightful debut film Granada Nights which follows the adventures of Ben, a young British Pakistani man who arrives in Granada in the Costa do Sol in search of his girlfriend Helen.

When Helen has moved on, and at the urging of a complete stranger Amelia (played by Quintessa Swindell) who encourages him to live life spontaneously and not be such a tourist but a traveller, Ben decides to remain in Granada to study Spanish at the Centre for Modern Languages. He moves into an apartment and meets Lucas played by Oscar Casas; Oscar played by Julius Fleischanderl, a wealthy Scandinavian and Silvia played by Laura Frederico.

Ben soon forgets Helen and joins his new friends in an endless series of late-night parties and fiestas in Granada, a decadent mix of youthful nonchalance encouraged by the drifter barman Big Dave played by Virgile Bramly.

Abid Khan’s fun-loving and incredibly light film Granada Nights is a wonderful story of a young man who grows up emotionally from being a nerdy tourist to an adventurous millennial who realizes that he has to experience life and not take it so seriously.

Inspired by Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise trilogy, Khan’s direction perfectly captures the zeitgeist of the modern traveller a group of transient young people that drink, party and socialize while he demonstrates how Ben grows from being a shy young tourist who transforms into a modern traveller who soaks up all the excitement and experiences that Granada has to offer from the late-night parties to the strange Catholic parades that occur on the cobbled streets of this ancient Southern Spanish town with the Alhambra at its centre.

The well-scripted snappy dialogue also captures how millennials converse without taking on the bigger responsibilities of the 40-something generation such as job status, marriage and children.

There is a poignant scene in Granada Nights when Ben has a late-night discussion with a Pakistani flower seller in the Arab quarter of the Moorish styled Granada about such contemporary issues as islamophobia and the concept of being an immigrant in Europe.

A critical moment comes when Ben finally does reunite with Helen, his lacklustre British girlfriend played by Alice Sanders, just as he falls in love with Spanish beauty Ella played by Tabata Cerezo.

As Amelia so aptly states at the film’s beginning, places are like lovers, so Ben decides to take a chance on a more flamboyant side of Granada complete with flamenco dancing, broken hearts and late-night shots. Granada Nights will make viewers want to be 20 again and travel the world. It is a carefree film without taking its storyline too seriously.

Granada Nights gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and is an enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes, a lovely film that beautifully embraces all the energies of the transient youth. Highly recommended viewing. – David Walker

For more information on the Durban International Film Festival visit https://ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za/