South Africa: Back to Basics At Black Box Theatre - Iqonga Festival and Other Things


The perennially widening gap between the mainstream (read commercial and 'inaccessible') arts and the so-called community arts (often hailed for its people-centred and pedagogical capacity) warrants an urgent response.

After all, "artists make life interesting", quipped an unidentified artist in Erik Krikortz's (et al) 2015 Art Workers.

This gap, this friction, or "tension", if you will, is a result of a number of factors. Key among those is the further marginalisation of communities are geographically further from the more affluent areas. Such disparities impede primarily on rolling out of services, and unfortunately, the arts always suffer.

The Rain Arts Organisation team. From left, Buntu Jobela, Chuma Pakade, Nkosikho Juqu, Sinoxolo Njilo, Steve Xhaga. (Photo: Amos Photography)

Against this backdrop, community theatre exists and its proponents continue to make "life interesting" despite rigid odds; insisting community theatre is as important to nation-building as all progressive human activities.

South Africans' insatiable appetite for arts in general and theatre in particular, are nowhere more apparent than in Cape Town where community arts and theatre spaces occupy an important part in the collective imagination of Capetonians.

Rain Arts Organisation 2019 trainees during a production at Black Box Theatre. (Photo supplied)

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