Speakers

Mike van Graan, playwright, cultural activist

Photo: Eliana CaneiroPhoto: Eliana Caneiro
“Freedom of creative expression – guaranteed in the Constitution – is permitted in the confines of a commercial gallery; once art that offends the political sensibilities of the ruling elite is placed in the public domain, it appears that the right of the President to dignity – often the mantra of banana republics to prevent criticism of the ruling president – is deemed more important than the rights of an artist to legitimate social commentary.”

Mike van Graan is the executive director of the African Arts Institute (AFAI) in Cape Town. The objective of this non-government organisation is to help develop leadership for Africa's creative sector and to build regional and continental markets for African artists and their creative work. Van Graan became a government advisor after South Africa held its first democratic elections in 1994. He played a key role in shaping the post-apartheid cultural landscape.

In 2011, the South African playwright was appointed a UNESCO Technical Expert on the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in African and other under-resourced countries.

Moreover, he provides support to Arterial Network, a pan-African network of artists, creative enterprises and activists committed to human rights and democracy on the African continent.

Van Graan is currently the programme director for the third African Creative Economy Conference being held in Cape Town in October 2013.
Related links

Fikrun wa fann: Media

Fikrun wa Fann, the Goethe-Institut’s cultural magazine. Articles of the issue on media.

Humboldt: Protest 2.0 “Time for Revollusion”

An arts journal intended to nurture cultural exchange between Germany and Latin America, Spain and Portugal, also available as e-paper.

100 voices

One hundred video interviews about change in the Arab World

Going Public – On the Possibility of a Public Statement

Public art in Lithuania, Belarus, Kaliningrad and Germany

Dossier: Civil Society

Aktion des Projekts “Zwanzig-Forint-Operette”/ A „Húszforintos opera“ projekt akciója. Copyright: Fekete Hajnal
What characterises German civil society with its long-standing traditions and the strong re-emergence of Hungarian civil society? An overview.