Artsvark Daily Diary – Day 6 – National Arts Festival 2019

National Arts Festival
National Arts Festival

It is day six of the 45th National Arts Festival in Makhanda, and today promises to be another day of amazing, and in our suggestions today, we have decided to give our wallets a break.

There is so much to do and see at festival, and a lot of festival offerings don’t cost a cent, so today let’s take a look at all the free offerings at this year’s festival.

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Public Art:
As part of Thania Petersen‘s exhibit Between Land and a Raised Foot there an outdoor installation on the Monument Mountainside titled Ziyarat. The work engages with the shrines, practices and philosophies of Muslim saints and draws from recent reports of re-education camps in Xinjiang, China where Uyghur Muslims are held in detention in fear that they may become extremists.

As part of the main programme, the festival presents JP Koala who launches a cyclone of whips, wit, axes and adorable marsupials as part of his routine from Australia, Victor Rubilar an award-winning and world record holding Argentinian football freestyle star and Canadian star Stickman whose act includes a bed of nails, chainsaws, swords and his famous devil stick routine. Catch all of these buskers daily at the Village Green Fair at Victoria Girls Highschool.

Book Launches:
All book launches at the National Arts Festival are free, and today there is a launch for a new book by Dorothy Driver called Invoking Indigeneity: Olive Schreiner and the Poetics of Plants. The book engages with a new topic in Schreiner criticism. There is a book launch daily until 4 July. See page 138 in the festival programme for more.

Fingo Festival:
The Fingo Festival is Makhanda’s community arts festival and comprises live performances, dialogues, workshops, book readings and art exhibitions. Fingo Festival runs daily from 1 to 5 July at Fingo Square (corner Albert Street & Raglan Road)

Visual Art:
All visual art installations and exhibits are free and scattered at venues across the city. See page 227 for a list of these exhibitions. Today we recommend taking a look at The Eye Catching Exhibition an exhibit of artworks created by blind or visually impaired artists. The exhibition is at Victoria House, in High Street and is presented by the SA Library for the Blind.

There is plenty to see for free, and more to come as the festival progresses and shows come and go. Later in the week, from the 4th to the 7th, Well Worn Theatre Company will present their physical theatre offering Swarm Theory at various venues across Makhanda.

Please leave a comment and let us know what free exhibitions and performances you have seen.

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