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Monday, May 3, 2021


Artfluence salutes ethical journalism on World Press Freedom Day

The Artfluence Human Rights Festival scheduled to open this week and presented by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal embraces the importance of World Press Freedom Day.

“We salute journalists whose work advances a culture of human rights and whose ethical journalism about the arts affirms the importance of disseminating information as a public good to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no-one behind”, said Ismail Mahomed, the Director for the Centre for Creative Arts.

World Press Freedom Day is promoted by the United Nations every year on May 3. The inaugural Artfluence Human Rights Festival will host an array of distinguished journalists, editorial cartoonists and the world’s youngest journalist who holds an accredited press card.

(Left: Janna Jihad)

Fifteen-year-old Janna Jihad from Nabi Saleh- Palestine, became the world’s youngest journalist when she was officially registered and handed a press card by the Palestinian journalism syndicate at the age of 12. She has been actively involved in documenting her life and sharing the realities of Palestinian children’s daily lives under Israeli military occupation.

Jihad will share a platform at the Artfluence Human Rights Festival with Amanda Haydar and other youth activists from across the globe in a special programme presented in partnership with the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. Haydar, based in Beirut, Lebanon, is the creator and host of the Let’s Talk Peace podcast, a platform committed to amplifying the voices of change-makers and fostering the values of radical empathy, creative problem solving, and critical thinking. 

((Right: Dr Pierre de Vos)

South African constitutional law expert, Pierre de Vos, will moderate a discussion at the Festival on Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Creativity as enshrined in Section 16 of the South African Constitution. He writes a regular blog entitled Constitutionally Speaking (syndicated to the Daily Maverick) and commentates widely in the media on constitutional questions. De Vos also serves on the Advisory Council of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) and is a board member of Pen South Africa.

(Left: Danielle Bowler)

Danielle Bowler, currently the Culture Editor at New Frame and former Managing Editor of ELLE Magazine and with by-lines in Mail & Guardian, Eyewitness News, Cosmopolitan, Africa is a Country and Superbalist, among other publications, will be in discussion with renowned radio and television journalist, Joanne Joseph.

Joanne Joseph has accumulated a string of credits since beginning her career as a radio presenter radio in 1998. Her high-profile live reporting includes Nelson Mandela’s passing broadcast internationally, Thabo Mbeki’s presidential inauguration as well as the Walter Sisulu and Beyers Naudé funerals. She has also produced documentaries for the United Nations Development Programme, among others. She will present a double-bill on literature at the festival with equally celebrated journalist Eusebius McKaiser.

Broadcaster, author and political analyst Eusebius McKaiser, has written columns for Business Day and New York Times. He has also appeared as an analyst on many platforms, including CNN, BBC and others. He is the author of three best-selling books, the most recent being Run, Racist, Run. He is currently completing his fourth book, provisionally entitled Searching for Sello Duiker.

(Right: Atiyyah Khan)

Journalist, arts writer, archivist, DJ, record collector and events-curator, Atiyyah Khan has documented arts and culture and been published in major newspapers across South Africa. Currently, she is the Arts and Culture Journalist for online publication, The New Frame and hosts a monthly radio show on Worldwide FM. She will moderate a discussion with musicians who use their creativity to advance social justice.

Editorial cartoonists Tjeerd Royaards, TAYO Fatunla, Andy Mason, and Nanda Sooben, whose drawings have contributed critically - and satirically - to the discourse on human rights, will choose the winner of the Artfluence Cartoon Competition. Tjeerd Royaards is an award-winning Dutch editorial cartoonist whose work has been published by the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and Le Monde, amongst other publications. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Cartoon Movement, a global platform for editorial cartoons and comics journalism. He is also on the Board of Advisors of Cartoonists Rights Network International and a member of Cartooning for Peace.

TAYO Fatunla was awarded Crayon de Porcelaine for his contribution to press cartoons internationally at the Salon International Dessin de Presse & Humour, St- Just-le-Martel, France. He is also a Trophe d’ Honneur recipient awarded to him by 49+ B.D. Francophone in Tourcoing, also in France. Fatunla’s cartoons have made significant contributions to black consciousness. TAYO's published books include two books on black history, OUR ROOTS and OUR ROOTS - Black History sketchbook, a series featured in the New York Amsterdam News. TAYO - THRO' THE YEARS is a compilation of editorial cartoons published in various newspapers and magazines worldwide.

(Left: Andy Mason)

Andy Mason has contributed to the development of visual narrative, particularly comic art, as a vehicle for public participation in South Africa. His numerous publications include academic articles, educational and underground comix, illustrated manuals, political cartooning and comics anthologies, a graphic novel, and a major historical work, What’s So Funny? Under The Skin of South African Cartooning (Double Storey Books, 2010).

Nanda Soobben is an award-winning artist, political cartoonist, and philanthropist. His human rights cartoons have featured in solo exhibitions in New York and Brazil. In 1994, he founded the Centre for Fine Art, Animation and Design (CFAD), which nurtured the careers of thousands of students achieving multiple awards and enjoying personal and business success. Currently, he is the creative director on a trailblazing international animation project called Set Ivy Free, a tribute to the 1860 Indian settlers mural project and mentoring eager young talent.

The inaugural Artfluence Human Rights Arts Festival focusing on arts, constitution, and democracy will be presented by the Centre for Creative Arts in partnership with the Embassy of the Netherlands. Voices of Hope, Courage and Resilience will be the theme for the inaugural festival. It will mark the 25th anniversary of the Centre for Creative Arts as a vibrantly creative enabler and advocate for social justice and democracy and the 25th anniversary of adopting the South African Constitution.

The inaugural festival will run for four days, from May 5 to 8, 2021. The Freedom of Expression panel will be screening on May 5 at 17h00. The festival is freely accessible and can be watched via and