Arts Aweh! is the youth focussed-educational component of the Infecting the City Public Arts Festival. It has been running in parallel to the Festival since 2009. In 2012, for each day of the Festival Arts Aweh! hosted 120 grade 10 to 12 learners drawn from communities across Cape Town.
Led by local artists, these learners gained exposure to the cutting-edge public arts performances, interventions and installations that ITC showcased. This was done through creative workshops and interactive guided tours of the Festival circuit. The learners were given the opportunity to express their own creativity and give critical opinions of what they encountered.
Grounded in an experiential learning approach Arts Aweh! is intended to raise awareness of the arts as a tool for social commentary and transformation, as a potential career path and as a means to nurture future audiences for the arts within our city.
Tailored to the content and variety of genre of the 2012 Infecting The City Festival, the Arts Aweh! programme of activities provided participating learners with a concise and engaging introduction to fundamental concepts and themes such as:
- Visual Language/ Iconography : how do we ‘read’ what we see?
- Classical vs Contemporary visual & performance art: myths, perceptions, prejudices.
- Public Art: issues of exclusivity/inclusivity, social & cultural dynamics, accessibility, collaboration, public involvement in the art via e.g. flash mobs, public sculpture, murals, graffiti art.
- Site–specific Art: innovative ways of using space, environmental considerations, being resourceful and imaginative within our urban landscape
- Arts activism: awareness raising through and socio-political relevance of the arts
- Multi-media: what goes into the making of video art, installations, performance art?
On the Saturday, a limited number of participants collaborated in a flash mob or improvised site-specific performance as a celebratory culmination of their ITC Festival experience, thereby putting some of what they have learned into action!
The Guides who were leading the learner’s through this experience were renowned Cape Town artists, and included:
- Roshina Ratnam
- Jill Levenberg
- Quintin ‘Jitsvinger’ Goliath
- Toni Stuart
- Primrose Mrwebi
- Mbali Vilakazi
- Khadija Heeger, and
- Winslow Schalkwyk.