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Public arts festival (Un)Infecting the City to take place May and June

The University of Cape Town's (UCT) Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) will present Infecting the City, which has been renamed (Un)Infecting the City for this year, during May and June 2021.
The festival takes art, music, dance and performance out of theatres and galleries and into public spaces. 

Buhlebezwe Siwani - 'AmaHubo'

As South Africa grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic and, more recently, the fires in Cape Town and at UCT, this year’s (Un)Infecting the City will have a thematic focus on the psychological and social impacts of this time. 

ICA director Jay Pather says:
The pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge to mental health, food systems, employment and the arts. Still observing the festival’s city-based concerns of urbanity and spatial politics, some of the artists on the programme consider how these concerns have been further exacerbated by the pandemic. There are also many works that celebrate resilience, spirit and community.
For instance, acclaimed artist Wezile Mgibe will present a work aptly titled We regret to inform you that echoes these sentiments.

The festival has been restructured to embrace a new social-distancing model that will allow it to go ahead within the current restrictions and concerning all health and safety protocols. Reimagined as a crowd-free event and taking place across multiple outdoor venues, (Un)Infecting the City also incorporates new digital and virtual elements that can be experienced by anyone with access to the internet and from anywhere, expanding the festival beyond the physical limits of Cape Town.

Comprising eight distinct programmes, (Un)Infecting the City offers a wealth of culturally rich opportunities created by 50 different artists that are entirely free to the public.


Programme one will run from 7 to 8 May 2021 from 6.30pm onwards and is a series of videos screened on the sides of buildings within the CBD combined with performances. A walking trail will connect the various screening sites culminating at Church Square. Highlights include a film by Buhlebezwe Siwani and two live performances, by Marlin Zoutman and Kwasukasukela Arts Collective respectively.

Programme two is video-only, running from 11 to 12 May 2021. Works will be projected onto the Western Province Building, Groote Kerk and even shop windows on Long Street, again culminating in multiple screenings on Church Square with films by Tankiso Mamabolo, Charl Johan Lingenfelder and others. 

Programme three will run from 14 to 15 May 202 and brings the Company’s Garden alive with video projections and performances.

Programme four will take place in the daytime outside the Cape Town Station on 22 May 2021. From 1pm, there will be an outdoor performance by Aphiwe Mphahleni designed to engage foot traffic that is en route to and from this transport hub. Part of programme four is a site-specific artwork by well-known multi-disciplinary artist Thania Petersen of WHATIFTHEWORLD gallery. Her work will cover the inside of a taxi with sound and video projection.

Programme five will consist of artworks designed for billboards and posters that will be installed across the city from 28 May 2021 onwards.

Programme six comprises four audio works. The works run from 4 June 2021 onwards.

Programme seven consists of a series of new digital works from 11 June 2021 onwards.

Programme eight will recap the festival via the website, social media and Cape Town TV. Excerpts of the full programme will be made available in stills and video format from 18 June onwards. 

For the full programme, please visit



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