Today the Festival continues to provide space for work that interrogates the country and world we live in, and expresses the viewpoints of diverse communities locally and across the globe. 2020 brought with it a new challenge – Covid-19. Felt across the globe the pandemic left no element of human life untouched. Artists and all of those involved in this world, felt the effect of a world in lockdown. It was with this in mind that we pivoted the National Arts Festival into a purely digital event that could be accessed from anywhere in the world. It was a massive challenge, but it has allowed us to broaden what we do going forward.
In 2021, we planned a hybrid festival that included three elements, Makhanda Live, an Online Festival, and Standard Bank Presents. As many of you know, we had to shift out plans once again, and performances that we had hoped to run with live audiences were live streamed.
And now we are here – more knowledgeable about all things digital, but incredibly excited to have a face-to-face festival packed full of performances, including drama, dance, physical theatre, comedy, music, jazz, exhibitions and more. In addition to the Curated Programme and the Fringe, there are a number of films available created by vFringe artists. Here’s to a great 2022 NAF!
Transformation and keeping apace with the artists who make the Festival unique and distinctive every year is complex, difficult, rewarding and exciting. Crucially though, this allows us to stay relevant, to stay sustainable and to still feel like home to the artists we work with, transformation is not negotiable.
Here’s to not becoming history! And to finding creative ways to be heard, to listen, to heal, to understand and to make meaning.