tue 16/07/2019

apartheid

Blood Knot, Orange Tree Theatre review - defining apartheid-era drama delivers afresh

London's impromptu mini-season devoted to the work of Athol Fugard picks up real steam with Blood Knot, Matthew Xia's transfixing take on one of the benchmark titles of the apartheid era and beyond. I first encountered this play during its Tony-...

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Best of 2016: Art

Before we consign this miserable year to history, there are a few good bits to be salvaged; in fact, for the visual arts 2016 has been marked by renewal and regeneration, with a clutch of newish museum directors getting into their stride, and...

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theartsdesk in Cape Town: Summer of nostalgia

Just 22 years old, South Africa’s national “Day of Reconciliation” on 16 December has shuffled into its perplexed young adulthood. Although commemorative events abound, few people seem to know how to strike the right note for this (just) pre-...

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The Birth of a Nation

DW Griffiths's 1915 silent epic, The Birth of a Nation, became notorious for its pejorative portrayal of black people and its heroic vision of the Ku Klux Klan. For his directorial debut, Nate Parker has appropriated Griffiths's title and whipped it...

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Concerning Violence

In Concerning Violence Göran Hugo Olsson has created an almanac documentary drawing on material from Swedish television archives, filmed by a number of directors in Africa, largely in the 1970s. It’s fascinating footage, covering a number of...

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The Island, Young Vic Theatre

This near-legendary short play, devised by Athol Fugard with the actors John Kani and Winston Ntshona (who gave their names to its characters), was first shown in Cape Town in 1973, during the apartheid era. Its effect then must have been electric,...

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The Dead Wait, Park Theatre

A single movement is all it takes. A wounded man is held at gunpoint, and instead of cringing away from the inevitable bullet, he lifts his head and looks his would-be executioner in eye. This simple gesture does not just save his life – it...

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Gergiev: a response and an open letter

Following theartsdesk's Monday opinion piece on reasons for moving towards a boycott on Valery Gergiev's concerts, and in the general climate created by other reports and protests, the conductor has issued the following statement, to which David...

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Edinburgh Fringe: Tam o' Shanter/Trevor Noah/Bridget Christie

 Tam o' Shanter, Assembly Hall ****Scottish schoolchildren are brought up on Robert Burns but other British students aren't so fortunate. We may know snatches of the great man's work – “Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie”, “O, my Luve's...

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theartsdesk in Johannesburg: Black Diamonds at the Wits Museum

The new Wits Museum in Johannesburg is located in an old Shell petrol station and stands on the corner behind a vast glass frontage. The winner of the 2012 VISI architecture award, it is big, akin to the Guggenheim in its sense of architectural...

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Interview: Novelist Gillian Slovo

“To my friend Craig.” As all writers must, Gillian Slovo will put her signature to copies of her 2008 novel, Black Orchids, for queues of readers. No other writer will have performed this promotional ritual, only subsequently to discover, as Slovo...

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Life, Above All

There was a time not long ago when British films and television dramas were shot in the Czech Republic and Hungary, where the studios were cheap and the landscape looked roughly analogous to our own. In recent years what feels like the entire film...

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