Artscape Human Rights Day

We have just commemorated Human Rights Day which remains historic in our country’s history reminding us of the horrors we went through towards attaining our freedom as memorialised in the fateful Sharpeville massacres, atrocities in Langa and other regions across South Africa.

These atrocities were an unfortunate response to people who raised their voices against the inhumanity of the apartheid government of the day, sixty-four years ago.

Today we can say we have gained much. However, we should not become complacent lest our human rights are eroded. We are called upon to do introspection regarding the marginalisation of the poor, people with disabilities and the voiceless. The arts play an enormous part in this.

Ouma Katrina, the last speaker of the N|uu language, at the age of 91, remains an activist for preservation of her mother tongue and indigenous languages in general.

Within the recent production Our Mother, The Earth – Where will our children play? it introspects through the medium of dance our responsibilities towards a sustainable liveable earth currently eroded through the effects of climate change including the decimation of forest such as the Amazon and Congo Basin for mineral exploration and tree felling just to print unnecessary materials that one could access digitally.

International cultural exchanges play a pivotal role to towards mutual understanding. To this end we’re honoured to host Crossbones Trombones organised by the Consulate General of Belgium in Cape Town and the Delegation of Flanders in Southern Africa to celebrate the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union, that runs from January until June 2024.
The exchange includes a workshop and concert which is deeply rooted in the vision upheld by the European Union and the fundamental workings of the diplomatic posts in South Africa: connecting people whilst fostering meaningful dialogue and collaboration between individuals and communities across borders.

Legal rights as part of Human Rights, came under the spotlight through the Thoko Ntshinga Foundation’s presentation of ‘Case Dismissed’ that focussed on the dismissal of rape cases in court. It sought to investigate why cases of abuse, especially rape cases are dismissed in court, as well as the court processes.

We round off Human Rights Month as we conclude the run of Dance of the la Gumas that celebrates the life of Alex and Blanche La Guma who had sacrificed their lives in towards the country’s eventual emancipation.