Black Art & Communities at Heart (BACAH) is a conversation series that explores the importance of Black art, Black artists and Black communities in a democratic South Africa. BACAH conversations aim to find concrete ways for art to be used to address social ills and effect change. Importantly, these conversations take place outside of traditional centres of discussion (e.g. universities and city centres). They are held inside of the communities most affected by the subject of the talks. Prior to each event, an invited writer submits commentary to a selected respondent for comment. The writer’s commentary is also made publicly available.
BACAH events are conceptualised and hosted by theatre activist, director and ICA National fellowship recipient Mandisi Sindo.
16 June 2019: Masixole Mlandu & Township Opera Company | Exploitation of Black Bodies in the Arts
Body, art, context and subject connect in the fifth BACAH conversation, titled Exploitation of Black Bodies in the Arts.The event, presented by the Institute for Creative Arts (ICA), takes place on 16 June, 2pm–6pm, at the Khayelitsha Art School and Rehabilitation Centre, KASI RC, Khayelitsha.
The event features Masixole Mlandu – a subversive scholar, UCT graduate and Fees Must Fall activist – in discussion with the Township Opera Company (TOC), a group of black artists who grew tired of experiencing exploitation in the music industry and started their own successful company. Mlandu and TOC will tackle the topic of underprivileged communities and artists, focusing on experiences of exploitation of black bodies in the arts, and how this affects the growth of the art industry and South Africa at large. Attendees will be given an opportunity to contribute to the discussions around issues of racism, exploitation, hate, discrimination, exclusion and nepotism.
4 November 2017: Given Jikwana & Unathi Ndiki | Liberating Black Artists
The fourth installment of the BACAH series will be held at the Makukhanye Art Room in Khayelitsha on 4 November 2017, 3pm–6pm. The theme is Liberating Black Artists and will feature writer/director Given Jikwana who describes himself as a “theatre activist using theatre for social change.” Jikwana will be in conversation with Unathi Ndiki, a filmmaker and theatre practitioner. Jikwana and Ndiki will explore how the exclusion and marginalisation of black artists in theatre institutions, universities, theatre awards ceremonies affects the growth of the industry and South Africa at large.
23 September 2017: Thami Mbongo & Zimasa May | Defining Community Theatre
The third BACAH conversation takes place on 23 September, 3-6pm, at the Makukhanye Art Room, Khayelitsha. The event features writer Thami Mbongo and theatre maker Zimasa May who will guide the audience through their own definitions of community theatre, as well as their working environments.
19 August 2017: Chumani Maxwele & Lwando Scott | Homophobia, Queerness and Partriarchy in the township
The second BACAH conversation will take place on Saturday 19 August, 3-6pm, at the Makukhanye Art Room in Khayelitsha. Community organiser and social justice activist, Chumani Maxwele, will be in conversation with sociologist, blogger and advocate for queer consciousness Lwando Scott.
16 June 2017: Xola Skosana & Ukhona Mlandu | State of the Townships
BACAH will be launched on 16 June 2017,3-6pm, at the Makukhanye Art Room in Khayelitsha. Academic, political analyst and author PastorXola Skosana and creative entrepreneur, facilitator and thinker Ukhona Mlandu will tackle the topic of underprivileged communities and artists, and how they affect the growth of the art industry and South Africa at large. Attendees will be given an opportunity to contribute to discussions around racism, crime, xenophobia, feminism, colonisation, exclusion and homophobia.
Institute for Creative Arts
University of Cape Town
Private Bag X3