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Spirit, Ritual and Celebration: The 2023 Standard Bank Young Artists feature at the National Arts Festival

Published on 29 April 2024

2024 is a special year of celebration, commemorating not just 30 years of democracy in South Africa, but a half-century for the National Arts Festival, and 40 years of partnership between Standard Bank and the Festival. 

The six 2023 Standard Bank Young Artists will present their new works at the Festival this year, as they stand at the forefront of the next generation of artists. 

Standard Bank Young Artist for Theatre, MoMo Matsunyane, takes the role of writer and director to explore themes of manipulation and deceit when a charming new priest offers a better life to an impoverished community in her work Ka Lebitso La Moya. Standard Bank Young Artist for Performance Art, Angel Ho, will take audiences through a multi-sensory experience showcasing dance, music, costume and video all rooted in queer ideology in Dis MY KANT, co-written and co-produced by Kirsten Poking and featuring Drag King – Casual Harry.

Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance, Lorin Sookool, will present through a workshop-based process her vision of collaboration with a group of dancers as well as presenting a solo piece. The double bill’s working title is Two Sides of Skollie’s Coin. Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, Darren English, will present two performances; The Darren English Quintet 1 and 2; a presentation of original materials including collaborations with local and international musicians.

Wegswysers duur die Blinkuur is the title of the work by Stephané Conradie, Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art. The body of work is situated in the tensions and beauty in intergenerational rituals and practices. 

In Nomthandazo: amahubo, Zoë Modiga (2023 Standard Bank Young Artist for Music) offers a hymnbook that sets the landscape as a portal to the spirit world. A sacral, ceremonious, cinematic work that brings us towards our inner, godlike selves.



First row:  Left: MoMo Matsunyane | Centre: Angel Ho | Right: Lorin Sookool
Second Row: Left: Stephané Conradie | Right: Darren English

The National Arts Festival takes place from 20 to 30 June 2024 in Makhanda. Tickets go on sale on 29 April. For more from the National Arts Festival’s Curated Programme, click here.

There’s always something innovative and unexpected on the Fringe, experimental works on the Arena Programme, or a magical experience awaiting on our Family Programme.