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The South African State Theatre’s annual Youth Expressions Festival will mark 10 years of empowering youth talent in June this year.
Since its inception in 2008 the festival has challenged the youth to create and tell their stories, most importantly in their mother tongues. The Youth Expressions Festival is directed towards empowering young people while remembering the essence of Youth Month (June) in South Africa. Now in its 10th year, this exciting platform for youthful artistic expression invites and showcases various art forms including dance, drama, comedy, music, poetry and visual art.
“The spirit of the youth is the life blood of every society, and through their artistic expressions we can tell the narratives of their society. This very statement makes the festival an important platform for young arts practitioners to showcase their artistic excellence,” says SAST’s Education Youth Children Theatre (EYCT) Manager Thabiso Qwabe.
This year also marks 42 years since the Soweto Uprising which tragically ended with hundreds of young people killed by the apartheid government when they protested against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction. In commemorating the heroic young people who fell on June 16, the youth in democracy will carry the baton by staging compelling crafts and productions throughout Youth Month. On Youth Day, 16 June, an annual march will be conducted around the theatre complex, followed by keynote addresses and LIVE performances at the theatre’s Precinct.
The Festival will launch on 1 June with live performances, workshops and exhibitions. The festival will feature various productions (to be confirmed), and workshops by South African Revenue Services (SARS), Companies Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) to educate on how we can commercialise the youthful artistic and contribute the country’s economy through job creation. A full programme of events will soon be made available on all the theatre’s communications.
“We invite the business sector and corporates to invest in and sponsor this incredible festival. It is almost a 30-day event but requires resources to reach its mandate. Make a difference and support the arts and our youth this Youth Month,” said Qwabe.