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Infecting the City starts today in Cape Town

Make sure you get down to the city centre in Cape Town this week to experience some of the magic that is Infecting the City! Infecting the City is a Public Arts Festival where Cape Town’s plaza’s and squares become Theatres and pavements turn into Art Galleries. It’s here that conventions of art and theatre production are flipped inside out: the art comes to you (the public) and completely for free!

This year, the organizers have chosen the theme: TREASURE and the focus is on highlighting the rich variety of wonderful (sometimes undervalued) treaures found in the Cape, from the people, music, monuments, natural resources, municipal workers to the communal spaces we share.

The new square in front of the Cape Town Station forms the hub of the festival with an action packed programme of visual and musical performances happening throughout the week. There are also performances taking place at various other locations in the CBD so make sure you plan your day/s out to make the most of this exciting festival. You can view more details about Infecting the City as well as the weekly programme here:

Infecting the City coincides with Design Indaba Expo which starts on Friday 25th February.

Cape Town is infected to infect

Infecting the city poster

Fiona Gordon: Heads will be turned all over Cape Town’s city centre this week, as strangely dressed characters do even stranger things in and around the city’s public spaces.

In an effort to ‘encourage expression of creative thought’ Spier supports this public arts festival, ‘Infecting the City’, (curated by performance artist extraordinaire, Brett Bailey) as part of their community social investment.

With ‘Human Rites’ as the 2010 theme, and involvement from some of the city’s most prominent and prolific theatre-makers, it seems many of the pieces presented acknowledge aspects of this city’s rich and colourful history, and heritage combinations. This social art encourages different perspectives, and seems to seek to acknowledge the lives and struggles of others, and their impact on our presents, and futures.

I saw two pieces which used open spaces, which in itself from an accessibility and audience development perspective, is a great thing. But I was most grateful for the innovation of the third – a site-specific work that makes use of a monument as a performance space, in a way that some may deem disrespectful, but really to my mind, better fulfils the brief of ‘challenging us to think, reflect and communicate in uniquely powerful ways’.

It’s worth making an effort to attend some of the things on offer. Even if it’s just to watch the passers-by be forced to engage with the space, or happenings in it, in a different way than usual.

“Infection” may have negative connotations, but I certainly left my little sojourn in the city feeling inspired – infected with the positivity that comes from experiencing art.

And even the weather played along providing some of its own drama – threatening to rain out the second performance I saw, while I watched the third, a mere hour later, feeling the rays of the scorching sun. Ah, Cape Town…

Performances and installations happen daily 13-20 February, throughout the CBD, and are almost all free of charge. See www.infectingthecity.com for more details.

Fiona Gordon

Infecting the City Arts Festival

Infecting the city poster

INFECTING THE CITY (ITC) the Spier Public Arts Festival hits the streets of Cape Town for its third year from the 13th- 20th February.

Get out of your comfort zone and engage with exciting large-scale site-specific performance art pieces, choreographic works, installations and low-key interventions. Intriguing participating artists come from South Africa, Zimbabwe, China, the UK, the USA, Greece, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands. A wealth of diversity, viewpoints and talent.

ITC 2010 is themed ‘Human Rite’, asking artists to refigure the public spaces of the inner city as arenas in which we confront some of our demons and attempt to put them to rest. To seek out silent memories and invisible stories and celebrate them. To look for what needs to be righted, and ’rited’.

Witness the new creative voice of 21st century urban Africa. The full programme is available on www.infectingthecity.com.

For further information please contact Felicia Pattison-Bacon on 021 422 0468 or email feliciapb@africacentre.net