Creating a New Narrative for a 30-year Legacy

In December 1987, more than 300 South African artists performed and discussed the cultural future of South Africa in Amsterdam’s main theatres. Film-maker Maarten Rens captured the event billed as Culture in Another South Africa (CASA) in his film Before Dawn.

Thirty years later this discussion will take place again. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Market Theatre Foundation will use the Maarten Rens’s documentary as a catalyst to bring Dutch and South African artists of a different generation together at the Market Theatre Foundation from Thursday 14 – Monday 18 September to critically reflect on the CASA’87 events and to envision new possibilities. The film-screening will form part of a series of events, Re-Envisioning CASA, supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands across the Market Photo Workshop, Market Theatre Laboratory, Market Theatre and the Windybrow Arts Centre.

The screening of Before Dawn will be followed by a discussion chaired by Michelle Constant with panelists including Barbara Masekela, Albie Sachs, Malcolm Purkey and young stalwarts Jade Bowers and Monageng Motshabi.

In a session about making art from biographies Leila Henriques, the director the Market Theatre Laboratory’s Standard Bank Gold Ovation Award winning play, Hani, will discuss the making of the production. Dutch director Jean de Velde’s film, Bram Fischer will also be screened at the Market Square.

In the Market Photo Workshop Gallery, Four Dilemmas, will be an exciting initiative that presents a selection of women’s photographic work that negotiate archives through landscape, the body and the photo album alongside placeholders and cues for further interrogations. Four Dilemmas will be developed through conversations between Thato Mogotsi and Mika Conradie. It features the work of Keorapetse Mosimane, Doris Nzimande, Lebohang Kganye, Samantha Simons, Zanele Muholi, Phumzile Khanyile, Simangele Kalisa, Babalwa Mtanga, and Sydelle Willow Smith.

The Market Photo Workshop will also host a full-day symposium on how photographers operate in relation to culture and economics. The symposium will investigate the long-term implications for archiving and historising Black cultural productions; and how artistic presentations fundamentally alter the established lines of property & value.

Signs of Solidarity is a moving testimony of Dutch support for South Africans in the fight against apartheid. The powerful images in the exhibition represent the mood seen in the demonstrations that took place at the South African Embassy in The Hague in 1963, the Culture in Another South Africa Conference (CASA) in 1987 in Amsterdam and the visit of Nelson Mandela to Amsterdam shortly after his release from prison.

Other highlights of the five-day event will include workshops with Dutch poet, performer and a psychonaut, Dean Bowen and a workshop for local dancers and spoken word artists with Sjaan Flikweert, a Dutch poet, dancer, performer.

“As South Africa’s leading cultural institution we are delighted to partner with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to promote a multi-disciplinary programme of film-screening, workshops, performances and discussions across our different business units to critically reflect on the CASA ’87 event and to engage the minds of a different generation of artists to envision the possibilities for the future of cultural collaboration between South Africa and Dutch artists.”, said Ismail Mahomed, CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation.

Ambassador of the Netherlands in South Africa, Marisa Gerards says “This five – day event reflects on the ideals and results of the CASA conference in Amsterdam thirty years ago and is a wonderful reason to celebrate the lively cultural relations between our two countries with 5 days of cultural activities”.

Re-Envisioning CASA will ignite conversations that will inspire artists to innovative ways to grow and engage in dynamic partnerships. The five-day event presented by the Market Theatre Foundation in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom will take place from Thursday 14 to Monday 18 September. Details about the full programme will be available as from Wednesday 6 September on the Market Theatre Foundation’s website

For further information, interviews and images, contact:

Lusanda Zokufa, Senior Publicist, Market Theatre
011 832 1641 ext 202 or 072 367 7867