My Body My Space: Public Arts Festival
In February 2015 FATC launched the My Body My Space Festival – a brand new festival of public arts happenings – in Ekurhuleni. The festival shines a light on key issues in the national agenda around social cohesion and nation building. Through ‘guerilla-style’ art interventions, installations and live public performances it explores critical personal and social issues such as those relating to gender violence, the impact of HIV/Aids and the re-stitching of previously separated communities. The My Body My Space festival moves performance events out of traditional performance spaces and into the public domain in a bid to make art accessible to a wide audience and to re-energize the city’s public spaces. The festival aims to become an annual event.
Monica Newton, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Arts, Culture, Promotion and Development says:
The arts play an essential role in highlighting issues that impact on society and create platforms to inform, educate and involve people n various ways, creating shared experiences, discussions and ultimately, solutions. Public art programmes such as My Body My Space, are part of the Department of Arts and Culture’s Mzansi Golden Economy programme which creates economic opportunities for the arts sector and sports catalytic projects that promote nation building and social cohesion.
My Body My Space – 2015
The 2015 My Body My Space festival ran from 2 – 7 February and erupted on the streets and pavements Katlehong, Thokoza, Wattville, Benoni, Daveyton and Springs. The final programme of the festival took place at the O.R Tambo Memorial Precinct in Wattville, Benoni, and featured works by Johannesburg’s top contemporary choreographers and dance companies, community based artists and craft workers.
The festival was made possible with the generous assistance and support of:
the Department of Arts and Culture: Mzansi Golden Economy; the city of Ekurhuleni’s Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture; the Gauteng Provincial Department of Sports, Arts, Recreation and Culture; Splitbeam Gearhouse; UJ Arts and Culture; the French Institute of South Africa; Rand Merchant Bank; and Nedbank Arts and Culture Trust.
Arts sector partners included: Sibikwa, Moving into Dance Mophatong, Vuyani Dance Theatre, Lucky Dance Theatre, Via Katlehong, the Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative, 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day and BUZ Publicity.