The 5th Annual Newcastle Township Arts Festival 2016 will launch under the theme of History, Experience and the experience of History. The annual festival occurs in Newcastle South Africa and is based on Collaborative Performance and production of (visual arts/theatre/music) through Exhibition | Discussion platforms that occur through facilitated Cultural Exchanges with national and international partners. (more…)
The Newcastle Townships Arts Festival 2015 is being held for 3 days from Friday 23 October to Sunday 25 October at Section 4 Madadeni Township Newcastle.
The Newcastle Creative Network has completed its planning of the festival artists and artworks and is ready to welcome visitors with various festival events.
Opening events for the festival, titled Fashion and Book Indaba will be held at the BlackRock Casino on the 23 October 2015 from 11h00 – 20h00. The opening events supported and made possible by African Bank.
Follow up interview with Nokubonga Mabaso.
Tell me about the experience of travelling to Ireland recently. What was the highlight and what have you taken from this trip.
Travelling to Ireland as part of Newcastle Arts Festival exchange was an awesome experience. The people of Northern Ireland were extremely friendly and made our stay a very warm, comfortable and enjoyable one. Newcastle, Northern Ireland, is an idyllic coastal town with a beautiful mountain range- the Mournes- encasing the surrounds. The weather was extremely kind as there was less rainfall than usual so we had the opportunity to see a lot of beautiful sights. We attended arts and music festivals, gallery exhibitions and theatre productions. Outdoor activities included community conviviums, canoeing, hiking and a tour of the city – Belfast
>>FAST FORWARD>> HERE
A project by the Newcastle Creative Network with Maninzi Kwatshube
This project examines the prospects and life perspectives of young people in Khayelitsha through an experimental video research project. In a series of workshops, thirty 18-23 year olds will interchangeably take on the roles of: audience, interviewee, camerapersons, crew, sound technician, and interviewer. The project participant will explore how to share the work with the broader public as part of the process. (more…)
With all the touring that we as the Newcastle Creative Network team have been engaged in of the beautiful, picturesque and richly green mountainous country of Northern Ireland, I (Dumisani Radebe) decided to capture the awesome story of the village of Ard Glass and its relation to art and the television series that is on everybody’s lips – Game of Thrones.
An interview with the NCN around art and community
Why were the Art & Community project(s) initiated?
The initial questions that lead to the creation and establishment of the Newcastle Creative Network was the one of who is doing what and how and for how long in Newcastle and how do we make these actions visible. These stemmed from a feeling of stagnation and isolation of cultural activity in the otherwise culturally and historically rich region of Northern Natal.
In the lead up to the Newcastle Arts Festival Ireland on 14-15 August 2015, we have interviewed Nokubonga Mabaso who will be travelling with Dumisani Radebe as a representative of Newcastle Creative Network South Africa.
Tell us about yourself
I am a writer, poet, yoga teacher, and environmentalist and philosophy enthusiast. I am 25 years young, born and raised in Newcastle South Africa. I completed my higher education at the University of Cape Town majoring in Economics, Politics and Philosophy. I am passionate about development: artistic, community and self. I love reading, yoga , being in nature, learning, being challenged and dealing with new and different ideas.
When and where did your journey with art begin?
My journey with art has been literary in nature. I began reading books when I was about four/five years old. These books taught me a lot about arts and creativity. I remember my first art history project when I was about 9 or 10 years old in Primary School and had to research Michelangelo. I was inspired not only by the quality of his artworks, but by the dedication, excellence and commitment he had towards his craft and how it continues to the present day. Art really is an expression of the inner man, which we all have within us. The medium and message may differ but art really is inspirational.
In South Africa: Newcastle Creative Network (Silindile Nkosi, Dumisani Radebe, Nkule Mabaso and team)
In Ireland: Newcastle Arts Festival (Nick Mack, Austen Biggerstaff, Maryanne Flanaghan and team)
The project Two Newcastles: Searching for a Shared Context aims to stimulate the scope of visual art in the respective contexts and inspire each community through engagement with the other. Both the Newcastle Arts Festival, Northern Ireland and Newcastle Creative Network, South Africa have made the encouragement of young people into creative practice an important part of their work. NCN is passionate about seeing young people succeed in all their creative undertakings while changing their lives and enlivening the community for the better through their creative ideas and cultural innovation.
The most universal fear amongst artists is dying a pauper and leaving a legacy that the ones close to you will not enjoy. I personally refer to art as a calling. Artists carry messages from worlds we believe we’ve never been to. That too is my belief. A mere artistic expression.
Were you to take this seriously, you would have understood the painstaking effort it takes to develop our creations, testing them, seeking a market or suitable exhibition space, getting them into our blood, explaining them to ourselves and to others, introducing them as concepts that could bring about change (however big or small. Wait, who else develops, tests and finally exhibits? Scientists. Yes, art to the right brain is the equivalent of science in the brain hemisphere. So artists are scientists. So, taking that into consideration, why is art taken on a lesser degree than science in our world? The answer to that lies in another question… Who designed our world and the perspective in which to look at it?
It’s a Thursday afternoon, trying to get things going. The day started out rather slow with a couple of disappointments, but finally I am with Bonkosi ‘TheeArtist’ Mhlanga. Bongani and I decide to not let the day get the best of us but rather give today our best. To capitalized on time we agree on a quick Q & A. I hope you will enjoy this short discussion and get to know one of Newcastle’s artists.
Oh what a year!
If you were putting of on getting on our bandwagon, don’t. Although we are still grieving the sudden loss of one of ours, we are going to look back on the year that was as a celebration of his life. Often times it is only in retrospect that we see how far we have come and what we have achieved. And despite all the setbacks and frustration of the past year we can pause and really reflect on what a year the previous one has been, and if it is any measure of the future, we truly are on an upward trend.
“UNomkhubulwane is a gender issue”, these are the words of Mr Jabulani Mhlambi, the Head of Amajuba [Community] Education Centre, in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal. This was in the wake of the Annual Umkhosi kaNomkhubulwane (the festivity of Nomkhubulwane) which has become a regular feature in the events calendar of Newcastle, taking place during the last week of July.
The end of July signals the closure of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. It is during this time that farmers and other people in agriculture start planning their planting season in preparation for the pre-spring rains in August. This cycle of nature precedes calendars and formalised agriculture, it is simply the way nature works. (more…)
Newcastle Arts Festival 2013
The second Newcastle Arts Festival has taken place in the township of Madadeni, Newcastle, KwaZulu Natal on the 27th, 28th & 29th of October2013.
The Newcastle Arts Festival kicked off with a jam packed energy as we were graced with an attendance and participation ofKZN Museum Services with an information desk filled with information aboutourheritage and some items that represent it. Also with us was the Carnegie ArtGallery – represented by Judy Jordan and Zama Mkhize – who gave a workshop to the kids on making and decorating their own puppets and the Fort Amiel Museum was represented by Louie Eksteen who is a very active soldier of the preservation of our heritage. Amongst these gracious people were Nelly Thwala of the KZNMuseum Services. (more…)
NCN Visits NCA
As we have come to be introduced, the Newcastle Creative Network is a team of artists who amongst other things travel and seek the art from all corners of the nation- given the proper resources of-course. Over the past weekend, I (Dumisani Radebe) visited a local group of organized artists called the Newcastle Creative Artists. Here is how it went:
Led by a humble spirited lady called Lindiwe Cebekhulu, a middle-aged passionate individual from Madadeni, it was an awesome 2 hours as she shared a talk with us about their young and youthful organization.
A practice of Social work or Socially Engaged art?
What does it mean when a group of artists form their own institution? Is it resistant or merely an internalization of existing institutional models? Does this mode of operating change the relationship between participants, context of display and the role of the artists as facilitators and how? What assumptions are being made about artists as privileged agents, free to create their own self-determination? What is the potential to create a significant political, aesthetic and social experience for participants that can resist individual prestige?
NCN welcomes the Okuhle Arts Organisation onboard
Embraces Wild Jam’s Garage Art Gallery Concept
As the year kicks off again, and our reach grows ever so profoundly, lets get back to formulating our exhilarating arts experiences throughout the community of Newcastle. We as artists have to combine our energies and continue to create awareness around art and positive change.
Introduction to Documentary and film making workshop report
Report by Phakiso Mokoena
A workshop facilitated by Newcastle Creative Network in collaboration with award winning e News camera man Thuthuka Zondi took place on the 17th and 18th of November. The workshop which focused on the basics of camera work and documentary making was aimed to impart knowledge and firsthand experience on the on goings of the Television industry from a reputed industry professional. (more…)