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Ninety years old and still festive

29 Mar 2012 09:55
The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) celebrates 90 years of existence in 2012 and to celebrate, the Wits Art and Literature Experience 2012 - simply named WALE 5.0 will be a highlight of this yearlong celebration.
Now in its fifth year WALE 5.0 promises to be an exciting and innovative mix of all things artistic. Running from 9-12 May 2012, this welcome addition to the Johannesburg arts calendar will have something for everyone.

It offers daily free concerts in the historic Library Gardens, photographic and art exhibitions, innovative theatre and dance productions, round table discussions, film screenings and book launches.

"The experimental element is an integral part of the festival," says Professor Tawana Kupe, WALE founder and champion in chief. "The emphasis is on further embedding a tradition of celebrating arts & culture and providing our students and society with balanced knowledge of the world. We want to encourage students who experience the impact of the festival to go into their communities and initiate arts and culture projects and festivals."

Highlights include a festive carnival through the streets of Johannesburg on 9 May and the opening of the Wits Arts Museum on 10 May.

Arts museum, musical heritage

The stakeholder opening of the museum will take with an exhibition, aptly named "WAM! Seeing Stars", featuring a priceless collection of African art. The university owns one of the most extensive collections of African art in the world and finally the public will have the opportunity to experience this collection. The Wits Art Museum will also house The Centre for the Creative Art of Africa.

A highlight for African musical heritage will be the Professor Khabi Mngoma Memorial Lecture. Prof Mngoma had a vast influence on African music, through his extensive career as a leading academic and cultural activist in the service of music. Prof Mngoma is also the father of singer Sibongile Khumalo. This lecture will take place on Friday 11 May.

Film festival adds human rights interest
Another exciting development for the festival is the newly formed partnership between Wits and the Tri-Continental Film Festival (TCFF), which offers access to a vast library of human rights films and documentaries. This will be a welcome addition to the film screenings at WALE 5.0.

The winners of the annual Wits Photographic Competition will also be announced during WALE 5.0. The competition is open to students, staff and alumni. The theme of the competition is "Capturing aspects of transformation at Wits University."

For a full programme, go to
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