The Annual African Creative Economy Conference (ACEC) takes place for the first time in Cape Town, from 6-9 October 2013 - and a parallel programme of African cultural events is on offer for delegates and locals alike.
The first on the programme (Sunday, 6 October, 7:30pm) is a concert of African music: the ninth edition of the City Hall Sessions. Other major cultural events fall under the African Creative Market (4-13 October), presented by the African Arts Institute to showcase creative goods and services in greater Cape Town. Cultural events are scheduled for Cape Town's oldest township, Langa, as well as the design and innovation district known colloquially as The Fringe in District Six.
City Hall Session
A star attraction at the City Hall concert will be Senegalese musician Didier Awadi, a speaker at the conference and the most visible rap figure of Francophone Africa. Awadi first attained international success with Positive Black Soul, then continued producing acclaimed recordings such as Another World is Possible and a new album in 2012, My Revolution. He offers a militant and mind-awakening rap, one that is also uplifting and integrates sounds of the continent.
Also on the bill are Munit & Jorg, a vocal/guitar duo from Ethiopia who are making their first visit to South Africa; singer Stewart Sukuma from Mozambique; and Cape Town vocalist Sakhile Moleshe. In the first set, voice will be accompanied by guitar and, after the interval, South African show band Hassan'adas will up the tempo, providing the groove and backing for some of the continental guests.
City Hall Sessions is a project of Creative Cape Town, a programme of the Cape Town Partnership. The series is funded by the National Lottery Development Trust Fund, with support from the City of Cape Town. The shows are produced and directed by Making Music Productions. City Hall Session tickets cost R80.
Music is also on the menu when conference organisers Arterial Network present The Africa Creative Party on Wednesday, 9 October (8pm at Frieda's on Bree Street) featuring DJs Roach, Boeta G, Kimon, Sizwe and live performances. Limited tickets, at R30, are available from Jeanne Hefez of Arterial Network on +27 (0)72 988 5564.
African Creative Market
For events in Langa, 10 home-owners in Rubusana Street (opposite Langa Stadium entrance and adjacent to non-profit organisation iKhaya le Langa, near the train station) are allowing their houses to be transformed into gallery spaces open to visitors. This forms part of the Maboneng Arts Experience (initiated in Alexandra, Joburg) to help build art-loving societies. Volunteers will direct visitors from the train station to the residents' houses.
A section of Rubusana Street will also be turned into a car-free corridor over the weekend (Saturday, 12 October) under the Open Streets initiative. The Langa Quarter is an initiative working to make this underutilised area, behind the Athlone Power Station, into a vibrant tourist destination and a centre for enterprise development.
Events in The Fringe, in the eastern section of the central city, include:
Pan-African film: Short, feature and documentary films curated by Encounters Film Festival, Big World Cinema and Screen Dance Africa.
Music: Collaborations between Mozambican, Ethiopian and Senegalese artists in the City Hall, and Afro-jazz at the Mahogany Room jazz club.
Literature: Conversations with Zimbabwean, Moroccan, Kenyan and South African writers at the Book Lounge independent book store and a pop-up book shop in the City Hall.
Visual arts: A Pan-African-themed exhibition will be on display at Union House art hub in Commercial Street.
"From a township street transformed into a performance district, to a pop-up book shop and a film festival, there will be plenty to keep Capetonians and visitors - from over 40 African countries and beyond - entertained and intrigued," said Peter Rorvik, the secretary-general of Arterial Network, under whose auspices the ACEC takes place. The conference is being implemented by the Cape Craft & Design Institute.
During the main conference, delegates will discuss the role of the creative industries in addressing Africa's development challenges. Numerous top-notch speakers and panellists have been confirmed for the event.
To find out more about the main programme and the parallel programme of cultural events, go to http://acec2013.org.za
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Why is there no dancing at this event?Not cultural enough for you? Saddened that cultural trinkets that are nothing but dust gatherers at the end of the day have a larger platform than the art of dancing.