Festival celebrates the power of women

This year’s Artscape Women Humanity Arts Festival hopes to bring people of all walks of life together from today Wednesday August 2 to Saturday August 12.

The festival focuses on humanity, women and disability by not only celebrating the bravest souls of our society, but also addressing the challenges they face.

The launch in Artscape’s marble foyer will coincide with the opening of a new exhibition by sculptor Evette Weyers, before the opening performance of the Indoni Dance, Arts and Leadership Academy’s stage production, Ikhaya.

From Wednesday August 2 to Saturday August 5, Ikhaya, which means home, will explore the roles of women at home and in the world, through dance. The production will run at 7pm, except for the last day, Saturday, when it will start at 6pm.

Off stage, the South African Faith and Family Institute (SAFFI) will bring respected theologians and faith leaders together on Thursday August 3, at 9.30am, for a conversation about Men of Faith, Violence Against Women and Music which is a partnership with New Birth, and on Monday August 7, at 9.30am, there will be a Conversation about Women, Religious Marriages and Customs in partnership with Women’s Legal Centre.

The Women’s Achievement Network for Disability (WAND) will also be hosting another empowerment workshop with differently abled teenage girls from across the Cape on Friday August 4.

The Absolutely Fabulous Drag Show endeavours to put the creme de la creme of drag on centre stage on Friday August 4 and Saturday August 5, at 8pm.

With fine feathers preened, false eyelashes fluttering and sequins glittering, the fiercely feminine/masculine are gathering to celebrate the world of “lip sync”, ambiguous seduction and gender identification. Drag divas Vida Fantabisher, SA’s Got Talent 2016 runner-up Manila von Teez, as well as Kat Gilardi, Tiara Skye Harwood and Angel Lalamore of gay cabaret 3D trio fame, will showcase their talent. Camillo Lombard maintains a strict tempo while Basil Appollis stiches it all together and cracks the designer whip as director.

Woman Zone is inviting Cape Town’s women to be part of The Everywoman Project by helping to create a textile artwork that will eventually be on display at Artscape. Sewers and non-sewers are all welcome to visit the Chandelier Foyer between 10am and 4pm on Saturday August 5, to play their part in bringing this exciting collaborative project to life.

Actress Quanita Adams will perform a limited run of Nadia Davids’ acclaimed piece, At Her Feet.

The production combines movement, song, poetry and monologues to explore issues like identity, Islamophobia and Islamic feminism through the eyes of four Muslim women in Cape Town. The piece is widely considered to be one of South Africa’s most significant post-apartheid works and its staging from Tuesday August 8 to Saturday August 12, will be the first in 13 years.

The Artscape Theatre Complex is set to become a hive of activity on Women’s Day on Wednesday August 9. SAFFI and Woman Zone will join forces with Artscape at
St George’s Cathedral from 9am for the annual Women’s Humanity Walk down to the Artscape.

The theme this year is Uniting Cape Town Against Gender Based Violence and as always, all are welcome – women, children and men – to join this iconic walk.

Women will also be able to access free health screenings offered by CANSA, legal advice and counselling, offered by the Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre (SSLAC). The Institute for the Advancement of the Disabled will present a fashion show in the Chandelier Foyer from 11am to noon.

Other entertainment for the day will be presented by the Amy Foundation and Cape Cultural Collective on the Piazza.

The New World Foundation will be launching their new book: Women Surviving Lavender Hill, from noon. Facilitated by Kim Pillay, the book tells the story of seven women from Lavender Hill and how they survived a life of violence and abuse.

These stories are written by the women themselves: Valerie Adams, Naema Moses, Margaret Arendse, Mary Bam, Veronica Kroukamp, Sheila Jacobs and Lorna Snyman.

Their narratives force a spotlight on the plight of women in a community ridden with crime, addiction and poverty; while also offering them strength and healing.

The Humanity Lunch takes place in the Artscape Tunnel from 12.30pm, followed by a production by the Stigting vir Bemagtiging deur Afrikaans (Foundation for the Empowerment by Afrikaans): Afrikaans Sing in Vrouestemme.

This free concert sponsored by Dagbreek Trust, will feature an all-female cast in celebration of both Women’s Month and the Month of Afrikaans. Audiences can look forward to performances by Karin Kortje and eight vocal groups, including a 120-member mass choir.

The show runs from 2pm to 4pm. Tickets for the festival’s productions are available from Computicket or Artscape Dial-A-Seat on 021 421 7695. Discounts are available for students, seniors and block bookings.

Visit www.artscape.co.za for more information about the festival, participating organisations the full festival programme and ticket prices.