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Infecting the City

Infecting the City, 2013. Logo .

'Infecting the City 2013'

Various Participants at Assorted venues in and around Cape Town

The Gordon Institute of Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) partners with the Africa Centre in Infecting the (Mother) City with installations, performances, readings, film screenings and discussion sessions, from 11 – 16 March 2013.

In collaboration with several national and international partners, the Gordon Institute presents a diverse range of works that embrace interdisciplinarity whilst engaging with public spaces in compelling ways. These emerge from the University of Cape Town’s Creative and Performing Arts departments, the culminating presentations of 2012-2013 Donald Gordon Creative Arts Fellows and Award Winners, as well as workshops and commissioned international pieces. GIPCA also partners with the Public Culture CityLab (African Centre for Cities, UCT) on Thinking the City, a series of talks and discussions seeking to strengthen thinking and practice at the intersection of culture and public space.

‘This year’s marvellous crop of works for Infecting the City from the Dance, Music, Drama and Creative Writing departments as well as through UCT’s African Centre for Cities and international partnerships, reflects a wonderful surge of interest in and engagement with interdisciplinarity and public art’ commented Jay Pather, GIPCA director.

Having recently returned from sold-out performances at the Ovalhouse in London, highly acclaimed choreographer and Donald Gordon Creative Arts Fellow, Mamela Nyamza, presents a startling dance performance 'Okuya Phantsi Kwempumlo' (The Meal), for which she received a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival 2012. Also featuring Dinah Eppel and Kirsty Ndawo, the work celebrates the creative capacity of young South Africans to subvert and transform instruments of oppression and denigration into expressions of ecstasy and beauty; and reflects on the relationship between women from different generations and races.

Awarded the main Puma Creative Prize and the first prize in the Group Pieces category at danse l’Afrique danse in Bamako, 2010, 'Orobroy, Stop!' was conceptualised under the creative direction of esteemed Mozambican choreographer, Horácio Macuácua. In an inventive intercultural reconstruction of Flamenco, deep emotions, notions of identity, gender and conflicting experiences are explored in a visceral manner in this provocative work. The work is presented with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

The initiators of 'Trespassing Permitted', Donald Gordon Creative Arts Award Winner Mike Rossi and composer Ulrich Suesse, have created a crossover performance that leaves behind musical conventions. Featuring Feya Faku, choreography by Nicola Elliot and dancers from the UCT School of Dance, the works ‘trespass’ or overstep various boundaries; improvisation encroaches on composition, jazz invades western classical, African and European sound spectra are interpolated, and dancers meddle in the creation of sound.

In 'Shades of Grey', the Cape Consort presents a fractured audioscape of late medieval European and 19th-century colonial culture in historically informed interpretation, based on research by musicologist Rebekka Sandmeier, also a 2012 Donald Creative Arts Award Winner.

Donald Gordon Creative Arts Fellow, Michael MacGarry’s short film 'As Above, So Below', concerns a philosophical re-imaging of naturalist Charles Darwin’s brief visit to the Cape of Good Hope in 1836. A black and white period film, it focuses on issues of industrial progress, the absurd, colonial taxonomy and The Uncanny, all within the mode of narrative cinema.

Award-winning fiction writer, Henrietta Rose-Innes, shares excerpts from, and insight into, her novel, 'Green Lion', developed during her Donald Gordon Creative Arts Fellowship. Through the interaction between a human protagonist and a rare lion, this novel explores species loss and animal / human encounters.

Known in the UK for their innovative approaches to theatre and community engagement, Arcola Theatre and Punchdrunk’s 'The Uncommercial Traveller' project involves a series of workshops with post-graduate students and theatre practitioners to devise and write reflective audio tours in locations in Cape Town by using Charles Dickens’s approach of seeking out forgotten places and uncovering hidden stories.  Collaborating with internationally recognised local artist, James Webb, on the sound design, these engaging audio tours will be made available to Festival audiences. 'The Uncommercial Traveller' is supported by the British Council and to date has travelled to Karachi, Melbourne, Penang, Singapore and Portsmouth.

Curated by Nadja Daehnke around the themes of movement and transit, the 'Platform_18_28' exhibition at the Cape Town station includes paintings, sculptures and photographs produced by students from the Michaelis School of Fine Art; while the collaborative building project between Tokyo-based artist Aeneas Wilder, curator Winnie Sze and the UCT School of Architecture, 'Under Construction', seeks to ask poignant questions around what it means to be a resident in the City. Installed in the District 6 Museum, Wilder’s fragile work which involves meticulous construction and then a spectacular public destruction will have particular resonance within the space that it is installed..

Presented in collaboration with the Public Culture CityLab, the four 'Thinking the City' discussion sessions will contribute to the Infecting the City programme by unpacking a series of examples and contested territories related to cultural practice in the city. Themes will include: Public space, festivalisation and contested cultural expression; Design and the creative city: the creative city for whom?; Managing access: city bylaws and the regulation of culture; and What makes art ‘public’?: reflections on participation and practice in contemporary public culture in South Africa.

These installations, performances, readings, film screenings and discussion sessions will take place at various Cape Town venues, and are presented by The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, as part of the 2013 programme for the Infecting the City Public Arts Festival. For more information on the Festival, please visit and

11 March - 16 March

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