Squaring the Circle: The Politics of Art

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Thursday, 7th August 2014

Grahamstown has been the stage on which artists have performed for 40 years, engaging audiences with their interpretation of events and the human condition against the backdrop of apartheid and transformation in South Africa.

This year festival audiences and the local community found 40 circular markers throughout Grahamstown (Download the City Markers pdf: 644KB)Brochures are also available at Makana Tourism at 63 High Street in Grahamstown.

The markers are the first step in a journey that provides a socio-political backdrop to the arts and celebrates the National Arts Festival’s contribution to providing cultural landmarks in the twenty years before and twenty years after the democratic elections of 1994.

To commemorate more permanently these seminal cultural and democratic anniversaries, a sculptural intervention has been proposed. The location for this will be on the High Street traffic circle, below the old railway station.  

The form of the sculpture will be a 20m high sundial, around which the overlapping timelines of significant political and festival moments will be placed. It is envisaged that the sundial will be installed for the 2015 festival as a symbolic “squaring of the circle”, connecting the two halves of the city in a central focus.  

To honour and document the role that the National Arts Festival has played in South Africa’s democratic evolution, the online catalogue of the city markers will form the basis of a future publication.

The Apartheid Museum invites you to contribute to this publication by logging your festival moments and cultural highlights of the past 40 years. Email us with your memories - wayded@apartheidmuseum.org

Click to download / view pdf.

City Markers  644KB


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