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Friday, April 26, 2024



(Above: We Stand for Freedom. Pic supplied)


4th Annual Artfluence Human Rights Festival: Building Bridges Through Arts

The Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal presents the 4th annual Artfluence Human Rights Festival, a weeklong exploration of the power of art as a defender of social justice and human rights. Under the theme Bridges of Solidarity, the 2024 festival takes place from May 3 to 8, 2024, and fosters collaboration among 40 cultural producers who will develop strategies that advance shared values.

The festival’s performance line-up boasts six not-to-miss events. During opening night, audiences can expect to be captivated by renowned arts policy specialist and political playwright Mike van Graan’s acclaimed solo production, My Fellow South Africans, which is a satirical take on contemporary South Africa performed by Kim Blanche. For film enthusiasts, the festival will screen a documentary from Enver Samuels’s acclaimed documentary series, Truth Be Told on the TRC, titled Ntombikayise Kubheka, Bones of Memory.

Choreographed by Ukrainian Choreographer Kateryna Aloshyna and performed by South African dancers, We Stand for Freedom reflects what fighting for freedom means for Ukrainians and South Africans. The performance involves interactive participation by the audience via digital medium.  Based on the responses received, the dancers adapt the performance on stage.

Shakespeare to Gaza is a form of protest theatre drawing on liberation and resistance. This is a decolonial, Pan-African response by South African activist artists to the unfolding genocide, weaving together key historical moments reflected in Shakespearean text and extracts of the Gaza Monologues while harnessing our intertwined spirit of liberation resistance against injustice in solidarity with Palestine.

(Right: Musa Hlatshwayo. Pic supplied))


Durban-based choreographer, dancer and community activist Musa Hlatshwayo will introduce his interactive and performative installation, Rubbish Orchestra, to festival audiences. 

This installation integrates movement and sound into a creative orchestral jam.


The festival culminates in a free-of-charge closing event at KZNSA Gallery curated by Dr Michelle Stewart of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Digital Arts Unit. 

This event will feature large-scale digital projections showcasing animation, experimental film, and digital imagery by Digital Arts postgraduate students. This programme will also include interactive multimedia performances, an exhibition, and a collaborative 30-metre artwork accompanied by performances by students from the Centre for Jazz & Contemporary Music. This project is presented in association with the Royal Academy of Art in Antwerp.

Expanding its reach, the Artfluence Human Rights Festival partners with the African Festival Network to welcome delegates from Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Mali and the DRC. Additionally, Nike Jonah, a Pan African Creative Exchange representative, will join the festival. Supported by the Flemish Representation of Flanders in South Africa, the festival will also host Philip Meersman, founder member and President of the World Poetry Slam Competition. The KZN Chapter of the South African Human Rights Commission has also pledged its support. Mike van Graan will curate a series of roundtables and discussions for the festival. The programme will also include site visits to the KwaMuhle Museum, Luthuli Museum, and the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. An evening programme will feature performances, exhibitions and film screenings.

The Artfluence Human Rights Festival unfolds from May 3 to 8, 2024. The main event venue for the 4th annual Artfluence Human Rights Festival is Howard College Theatre at UKZN, and the closing event will take place at the KZNSA Gallery.

The full programme is available on the Artfluence Human Rights website ( Bookings for ticketed events are available on Webtickets (R40-R100).


For more information on the Centre for Creative Arts, click on the advert to the right of this article.