This April, Infecting the City – South Africa’s pioneering public arts festival – will once again be igniting Cape Town’s public spaces, including City Walk. A collaboration between the Africa Centre and the Institute of Creative Arts, Infecting the City celebrates a decade of seminal performances and installations by artists from around South Africa and the world. Now in its 10th year, this cultural phenomenon is once again set for a four-day creative arts takeover of the Mother City from 5 to 8 April 2017.
As April resonates in the history of South Africa as the month that gave birth to freedom and democracy, Infecting the City marks this monumental moment with a festival of extraordinary artworks to reclaim the streets of Cape Town and re-imagine civic existence. This year’s collection of innovative artists represents the breadth of artistic vision capable of morphing city spaces into new dimensions, as they fill with visual and performance art, dance, music, video and more.
Free as a bird and true to its logo, Infecting the City takes flight with all performances and events free of charge to the people of Cape Town. The dynamic festival programme offers audiences the opportunity to discover new heights and explore ways of reconciling their personal and often emotional relationships to public, private and internal spaces.
Continuing the tradition of Infecting the City to expose and confront existing challenges, co-curators Khanyisile Mbongwa and Leila Anderson place this year’s artists in the powerful position to disrupt conventional foundations. Firmly focused on transforming Cape Town into a more open and inclusive city, Infecting the City provides a platform for artists and art forms to voice what matters most at this moment.
Says co-curator Khanyisile Mbongwa: “In a time where a lack of ethical leadership lies at the heart of challenges in SA and around the world, Infecting the City’s artists step up to the plate and take the reins as vanguards for creative expression and freedom. In searching for truths and answers, this year’s artists lead audiences to unchartered grounds and drive South Africa forward to understanding new ways of being.
“While the contamination of censorship plagues us all, Infecting the City’s artists administer the antidote. The Festival has become a laboratory and springboard for thought leaders, and a stalwart of public art platforms.”
As a leader in the forefront of immersive experiences, Infecting the City 2017 promises audiences an expedition through the Mother City to traverse physical and psychological boundaries. The Festival delivers a programme that allows for chance encounters by passing citizens, unpredictable creative experiences and a roadmap for the exploration into the imagination.
Co-curator Leila Anderson says: “Art exists as an extension of our relationship to others; a medium through which we can share and this year has many artworks that engage with ideas regarding participation and collaboration. By its nature, Infecting the City is a collaborative effort – collaboration between artists and audiences, curators and artists, City authorities and arts organisations. Together with Khanyisile Mbongwa and supported by Jay Pather, we are working together to put these ideas into practice; looking for ways to expose public spaces to powerful images, moving bodies, tender moments and playful interventions while providing a programme that is as rich and as full as the Mother City itself.”
“We are very excited to see City Walk activated with thought-provoking pieces. The arts have always been an essential pillar of placemaking and we love the creative way that initiatives like Infecting the City use public space as a platform of expression.” – Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana
Infecting the City will take place from 5 to 8 April in public spaces across the city; all performances are free.
Infecting the City is supported by the City of Cape Town and Spier.