Goethe-Institut South Africa announces selected GPS projects for 2022
Seven artistic projects from all corners of the country are chosen to be supported with grants of R70,000 each.
The Goethe-Institut is proud to announce the seven projects which have been selected for support as part of its 2022 Goethe Project Space (GPS) programme, a multi-disciplinary roving project space. The programme supports work realised all over South Africa ranging from workshops to exhibitions, events and performances; including visual art, literature, film, music, dance and theatre projects. An independent jury of arts professionals, consisting of Mhlanguli George, Nadine McKenzie, Refilwe Nkomo and Musa Nxumalo, selected the following GPS projects for 2022:
- „4 Cups“, a theatre production by Leanetse Seekoe at the TX Theatre in Tembisa
- „Going To Fetch Kathy“, a theatre production by Thabo and Thabang Gabogope in Schweizer-Reineke
- „Inclusive Dance Exchange“ a collaboration between the Unmute Dance Theatre and Vuyani Dance Theatre, coordinated by Andile Vellem
- „Kupi Okwethu“, a music project by Madala Kunene at the Ikomkhulu Arts Space In Durban
- „Soweto Graffiti Braai“ by Themba Dreda Malaza at Eyethu Cinema in Soweto
- „The Stories we see“, a film project by Gcebile Dlamini in Johannesburg
- „Toro-Tsoho“, a multi-disciplinary performance by Moeketsi Koena and Nico Pooko in Thaba Nchu
The jury says: “The selection of the seven projects that can be supported in 2022 was no easy task. We had to identify projects that are innovative, of high artistic quality and truly able to bring about transformative cultural experiences in the communities where they are to be presented. (…) The seven projects we selected range from inclusive dance and movement practices to theatre and public art. They all propose to engage with their communities, spaces and audiences in ways that will ensure access to an experience where art and community are celebrated.”
The selected projects will have public events at different times throughout the year. More information will be shared closer to the date and can be found here.
Please read more about each project and find the full jury statement below. Images can be found here on the website.
About the projects
Written and directed by Leanetse Seekoe, 4 Cups is a narration of contemporary black womanhood told through movement and heightened text. This coming-of-age story highlights the stories of four women who each share their perspective and experience of being black and a woman in South Africa. In this work, history repeats itself where generational curses affect the lives of women who endure the realities of adolescence. These issues appear to have a dire effect upon the lives of girl children who learn to become young black women in a world of patriarchy and racism. The play is narrated by Words, who is full of resentment; Milk, who is full of regrets; Taste, who is full of compassion; and Silence and Fruit, who are full of wisdom. Each of these women have a girl child inside of them as they try to free themselves from the suffocating treatment by those who choose to sexualize their existence instead of attempting to love them, and those who have refused to mother them.
Going To Fetch Kathy
Going to Fetch Kathy takes place inside a train, traversing the boundary between past and future. The play explores the inherited twisted knowledge and colonial, apartheid heritage preserved in South African public spaces. It seeks to address racism and racial tension in the town of Schweizer-Reneke in Northwest. In this place, time seems to be confused, causing ist inhabitants to question which era they are living in. How do these people behave? What does a black person see when looking at a white person; and what does a white person see when looking at a black person in the post-Apartheid era? Going to Fetch Kathy is told from the perspective of a parent who takes his child to a formerly white school. The father strives to give his child the best possible upbringing, but then the founders of the town, long dead Schweizer and Reneke, are seen gallivanting in a protest action near Schweizer-Reneke Primary school, looking to find Kathy (Ahmed Kathrada) who grew up in the town in the early Twentieth Century. Going To Fetch Kathy is written by Thabang Gabogope, Co-directed by Thabo and Thabang Gabogope and choreographed by Simphiwe Qhaba.
Inclusive Dance Exchange
Unmute Inclusive Dance Exchange Program is an inclusive arts exchange program that focuses on creating exchanges between artists and organisations around South Africa. Creating opportunities, developing inclusive teaching materials and offering learning programs for artists and organisations are at the core of the program, which aims to work inclusively and encourage ongoing collaborations between artists across South Africa. This particular project involves Unmute Dance Theatre (Cape Town) and Vuyani Dance Theatre (Johannesburg). The two companies will exchange artists to work with dancers and choreographers in the other company, developing teaching material and exploring creative ideas that both companies and artists can continue to use with performance groups with mixed abilities even after this project has ended. The project will culminate in showcases of work developed during the exchange.
Kuphi Okwethu is a music workshop facilitated by one of South Africa’s most accomplished musicians. Madala Kunene is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, a composer and a musical anthropologist whose musical approach crosses the lines between Jazz and Zulu folk blues. The aim of this project is to share knowledge and skills with promising young musicians from Durban and surroundings in order to develop a language to express neglected stories of society. This project will encourage the young musicians to rewrite their stories through music, as a means to archive the history of their communities. It will also allow them to learn how to compose music, collaborate with other artists and produce music. The project will culminate in a show at Ikomkhulu Art Space in Durban.
Soweto Graffiti Braai
Graffiti artists often get together in a meeting or a Jam where exchanges of ideas and information take place and collaborations are formed. Pursuing these goals, Dreda and his Ibutho bring you the Soweto Graffiti Braai. This jam will showcase the most prominent street artists of Gauteng to the people of Soweto. In order to show the community how they work, the artists will spray paint works on self-standing canvases in front of the audience. There will be background music and live performances. In doing so, the street art and graffiti writing community will be able to engage directly with the public. This is a chance for the masses and youth, especially, who wish to pursue a career in the arts, and the business thereof, to learn about this art form in real time. So put on your networking hat on and bring your sketchpad to get it signed by your favorites!
The event will provide picnic space, pop-up stores, a flea market and an instant photography booth with graffiti painted characters; as well as a children’s section.
The Stories We See
As a Community Theatre director, facilitator and writer, Gcebile Dlamini has provoked, taught and developed ways of engaging creatively within different community groups. She has worked extensively with creating work with the elderly, with young people and with persons with living with disabilities and understands the need to do creative work with and for persons with disabilities, as well as the need to provide more visibility for persons with disabilities in order for them to express themselves and to claim their dignity, attention, safety and positions in communities. “The Stories We See” touches on the stories of visually impaired people from The Johannesburg Society for the Blind and young people from Themba Lethu Child Welfare. The aim is to reflect on how the community sees disability. The participants in this project will navigate through storytelling, movement and music, ways in which stories are reflected through their own personal narratives. Thes production will then travel to different Community Theatre spaces and be performed as an advocacy production for disability month in 2022.
Toro-Tshoho (Toro translates to Dream and Tshoho to Awakening in Sotho) is a project developed by arts practitioner and director of Itrotra Art X Connection, Moeketsi Koena, in collaboration with visual artist and music painter Nico Phooko. It is a multi-disciplinary performance that interrogates the spirituality and connectivity of the artists and their audiences with their ancestry; juxtaposing this with their earthly journeys as they walk and toil daily. This concept will be explored through a process of research and creation; first involving Koena and Phooko; and thereafter including young artists and performers, who will participate in master classes and workshops developed after the initial research phase. There will be a showcase presentation of the outcomes of the workshops; comprising of a dance performance with live visual arts painting, as well as a visual arts exhibition. This project will be hosted by Free State Dance Theatre at Mmabana Cultural Centre, Free State.
In the course of adjudicating close to 100 proposals for projects to be supported through the fifth edition of the Goethe-Institut Project Space (GPS) multi-disciplinary roving project space, the four of us who had been invited to act as the selection jury for this round of applications repeatedly asked ourselves:
“What does it mean to create work for a specific place or community? How does one create work which honours the stories and experiences of the people involved and those who will participate, either in the creative process or as part of the audience? What happens when art shows up in unexpected places, in unexpected ways? What magic occurs when artistic practice encounters the specificity of a particular place and the people who live there?”
With these questions in mind, the selection of the seven projects that can be supported in 2022 was no easy task. We had to identify projects that are innovative, of high artistic quality and truly able to bring about transformative cultural experiences in the communities where they are to be presented.
The GPS program is about supporting creative excellence in spaces located outside of historical, geographical or philosophical centres and “signals a move to decentralize; supporting smaller, less institutional and non-commercial spaces, and privileging those situated outside of the large metropoles of South Africa”. The seven projects we selected range from inclusive dance and movement practices to theatre and public art. They all propose to engage with their communities, spaces and audiences in ways that will ensure access to an experience where art and community are celebrated.
In adjudicating the projects, we found that many worthy applications were compromised by incomplete submissions, where the absence of crucial documents in several cases made it impossible for us to shortlist interesting projects. We also found that several worthy proposals failed to be supported by viable budgets and timelines. We also found that the clearly expressed preference of the GPS programme for projects that are located in areas and communities which have little to very limited cultural and artistic projects was often overlooked in otherwise very viable projects. This resulted in those projects not being included in the final selection.
We have recommended to the Goethe-Institut that more user-friendly advice regarding the presentation of applications be made available to future applicants in the form of a short instructional video, and that the need to focus on collaborations between truly excellent artistic concepts and appropriate cultural structures in communities be communicated more clearly.
We congratulate the applicants whose projects were selected for support in 2022, and encourage all past and future applicants to stay inspired, stay creative and keep honing the different skills needed to succeed in our challenging cultural landscape.
the 2022 GPS jury members, Mhlanguli George, Nadine McKenzie, Refilwe Nkomo and Musa Nxumalo
For more information related to the project, please contact:
Jonas Radunz, PR Officer
Goethe-Institut South Africa
| 082 769 3254