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Friday, September 14, 2012


The Mindscapes programme promises to be an attractive enticement to this year’s Witness Hilton Arts Festival, KwaZulu-Natal’s premier cultural event which celebrates its 20th year in 2012.

An integral part of the festival, which takes place within the beautiful grounds of Hilton College from September 21 to 23, the profile of Mindscapes has been bolstered by support from Grindrod Bank.

The Mindscapes programme encompasses all the non-performance aspects of the festival and promises to be an inspirational intellectual melting pot with strong sustainability and conservation themes. Including a series of lectures, debates, documentary movies and workshops, Mindscapes offers a jam-packed programme to whet a diverse range of creative appetites.

David Polkinghorne, CEO of Grindrod Bank says: “Supporting Mindscapes shows our commitment to engaging both with the richness of South Africa’s local talent and the important sustainability issues facing this country.” Mindscapes in particular will address this contentious topic. The bank views the festival as a powerful enabling opportunity.

Headlining Mindscapes 2012 is the Grindrod Bank Mindscapes Dialogue. This session consists of two interactive, thought-provoking panel discussions chaired by the CEO of KZN Wildlands Conservation Trust, Dr Andrew Venter, who is a committed eco-entrepreneur and expert on sustainability leadership. Dialogue , which will take place on September 22 at 12h00, is entitled Arts: Ambassadors for a Sustainable Future. It includes conversations with Ismail Mohamed, Director of the National Arts Festival, Nicolette du Plessis, an independent arts consultant specialising in cultural development, and Mike van Graan, a playwright and political arts activist.

Dialogue 2, taking place on September 23 at 11h00, is entitled Business, Education and Sustainability, and promises to be a lively discussion between the CEO of Grindrod Bank, David Polkinghorne, Sandile Zungu (Executive Chairman of Zungu Investments Company), Louise Duys (head of Sustainability of Unilever), and Busisiwe Kuzwayo (Deputy Director General in the KZN Premier’s Office). Both dialogue sessions are free of charge and give participants exclusive access to the premier of award-winning Horn of Sorrow, by playwright Nicholas Ellenbogen, which describes the plight of the rhino.

In addition to the Mindscapes Dialogue, is the crowd-pulling workshop with celebrated author of the Spud book series, John van der Ruit. Consisting of a Q&A session and book-signing, the workshop will be divided into two categories, including both scheduled and by-appointment sessions. Booking will be essential for this workshop, entitled In conversation with John van der Ruit.

For those festival attendees wishing for a visual feast, there will be movie screenings of three documentaries developed around the theme of Human Impact on the Environment which have been made available courtesy of Francoise du Toit, CEO of The Africa Conservation Trust. All part of the ‘Sustainability’ theme running through Mindscapes 2012.

Providing a rich backdrop to these activities is the Mindscapes fine arts exhibition which features over 31 stands. Festival booking is now open. Detailed information can be found on or phone 033 383 0126 /7.