The Lost Conversation

The Lost Conversations is an extended series of dialogues, negotiations and discussions based on the discovered manuscripts of Mdushane, Makhanda’s trusted military advisor. These conversations are held at Mhlonipeki’s (Makhanda’s) study, where allies are summoned and consulted before an upcoming battle of Grahamstown. These are not easy conversations and are not meant for the faint-hearted, and the imagination used to produce and create this series has broken many rules of theatre and many rules of filming. The aim of this production is to interrogate and perform written and oral stories about Makhanda’s strategies and legacy.

  • Ticket Price: R0.00
  • Duration (minutes): 29mins
  • Ages: All Ages
  • Release Date: October 29, 2021 12:00 - November 15, 2021 23:59
  • Language: isiXhosa with English

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PRODUCTION CREDITS

Cast:
Mhlonipheki by Thandazile Madinda
Mdushane by Luck “T.O.” Ngcani
Tshatshu by Efese “F” Betela

Researched workshopped by: uMthuzmele, T.O , FanatikUS and Xolile E Madinda

iMpepho:
Morphology Collector by Sipho “Ta Sky” Madinda

iMpepho Supplied by Qamatha

Catering by Aroundhiphop
Location: The Black Power Station
Sound editor: Mxolisi Bodla aka Biz

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

The Black Power Station is a home for everyone seeking a liberated space for the arts in Makhanda. This space – on the edge of the Waainek Industrial Area and away from daily noise that distracts the mind – is where we were created and where we are still growing. This is a place for free thought, expression, and healing – all through inter-generational arts education. We nurture and support the creativity of artists by working alongside business people who support social change through the arts. We’re building our community through families and friends – bringing them together to witness and participate in deep discussions and unique performances. They come here to taste indigenous local cuisines and to immerse themselves in music, sound art, theatre, screenings, ceremonies and Book’ona readings. The Black Power Station is built around the concept of Ubuntu. This means building a community based on a spirit of collective oneness and harnessing communal growth to create empowerment and solidarity. We believe in letting artists be artists, and in creating a space where everyone is able to breathe more easily. The Black Power Station was founded by Xolile ‘X’ Madinda, a Makhanda-based artist and arts activist whose life has been dedicated to finding ways to build our own economy for the arts from scratch here in Makhanda. He’s been doing this by finding strategies to amplify what is happening locally and connecting it with movements internationally, all aimed to attain and maintain liberation. That is why we believe The Black Power Station is The International Destination.

OUR PROJECTS AND PRACTICES

The Book’ona:

This is The Black Power Station’s library. It’s a space for collective reading, listening, and storytelling that houses an extensive archive of literary works. Our collection ranges from traditional stories to hip-hop books and vibrant poetry. This is a space for elders from the community to have deep one-on-one conversations with youth activists, and for students, artists, and children to draw inspiration from topics ranging from history to politics, social relations, Black consciousness, business and art. We don’t just create a space, we create a space for growing and becoming grassroots artist-intellectuals. We inculcate a culture of reading that informs minds, creates action-oriented discussion and erases the myth that artists don’t read. Many of the books have been donated by generous individuals who want to leave a legacy shaped around an idea or a story. These books personalize the space and its acoustics. So we urge our growing community of artists, patrons and activists to donate books that they would want to see inhabiting the shelves. The Book’ona philosophy is built from the idea that the highest currency at the The Black Power Station is that of the book.

eKhebini Spaza Shop:

At the eKhebini Spaza shop we sell a variety of dishes and drinks. Some are indigenous to the Eastern Cape region and others are from further afield across Africa. Our menu includes: umphokoqo, isonka samanzi, umngqusho, umngqombothi and iqilika. The rotating menus are also geared towards welcoming people visiting Makhanda for the first time, to give them an authentic flavour of the town. Custom catering is available for people who want to host their meetings and private functions in the space. We also sell artworks by various artists as well as branded merchandise. Here you can also find local Makhanda souvenirs to promote the history of the district. We also sell kids art materials.

Arts Beyond the Streets:

We offer a year round programme where people can come and join in to explore, celebrate and expand ways to use visual art to engage with the world. For us visual art is not just paintings hung on gallery walls. Instead, here visual arts is lived and part of everyday experiences that cannot just be bound inside frames on big walls stuck in closed gallery spaces. Here at the Black Power Station we make art because we see it as a living force in the environment, one that brings colour and light to the streets, brightens up the everyday and allows people to ask questions, to disrupt and to de-mystify elitist restrictions on space. Here kids join in painting murals, free blank canvases are left openly outside for anyone to come and add colour, and artists are invited to work together across multiple canvases in public spaces, rotating their efforts across various sites throughout town and the townships. We see visual art as a collective way to build relationships and dialogue in our community around topics such as gender, history, politics and social justice. The Black Power Station helps foster collaboration in contemporary arts, pairing artists with historians, youth with professionals, and musicians with visual artists. The programme has developed rapidly over the years with some work already exhibited internationally.

Business Beyond the Festival:

This is our Creative Industries incubator programme. It provides mentorship on how to sustain a creative project so that it might endure beyond the short period of the annual Makhanda National Arts Festival. These creative projects should all be able to contribute to a viable artistic economy that can help uplift the Eastern Cape. Our incubator sees creativity emerging from conversations and partnerships. It helps develop innovative ideas for collaborations and social entrepreneurship, and then take these ideas forward by teaching people business skills. Ongoing projects that were midwifed by our incubator include one for making your own art supplies, another for building toys from recycled materials, and another for repurposing abandoned objects to create new furniture. We believe in finding solutions through creating conversations that span local, national and international networks. We work with creative companies and local businesses to bring together artists, environmental activists and university communities. Our aim is to help people create projects and goods that generate marketable products for a sustainable income.