Art & Culture

South Africa: The National Arts Festival – Still Pure Gold After 50 Brilliant Years

The National Arts Festival has thrived during a tumultuous half-century, even surviving the arrest of a play’s entire cast. This year, its golden anniversary, it honours the past and looks to the future.

The golden anniversary, they say, is symbolic of timeless quality. The National Arts Festival (NAF) — which takes place in Makhanda from 20 to 30 June — will pay homage this year to the past in the present.

The umbrella that will cover this — the most diverse festival in the country — is the theme “Shaping Together”, represented by a nest created by social weaver birds.

These weavers, unlike their relatives that construct single-unit nests, are “extremely gregarious”, which ties in with the festival’s motto: “co-creating a future”.

Huge nests can be seen weighing down trees in the arid southern plains of the country and can be home to a community of about 500 birds.

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