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  • PACE

2023 PACE Reflection Gallery

The Vrystaat Arts Festival held another fruitful weekend of PACE this year. Creators and artists from Africa and the diaspora inspired PACE members with exciting workshops, presentations and discussions.

Day 1 of PACE - 6 July 2023

The first day of PACE kicked off with a word of welcome by the PACE Co-Executive Directors, Erwin Maas and Nike Jonah. This was followed by two Work-in-Progress Presentations: Kraal (Jason Jacobs- South Africa) and Coming Home Dead (Keith Black- Namibia).

The evening activities included a PACE Opening Reception and a Tour-Ready Performance, Morwa the Rising Son, by Tefo Paya (Botswana).


Day 2 of PACE- 7 July 2023

Day two of PACE was jam-packed, starting with a Work-in-Progress presentation by Jane Mpholo (South Africa) titled The Dawn. After the coffee break, the program commenced with a panel discussion, Cultural Intermediaries & Networking in Africa, led by Taiwo Afolabi (Nigeria) and Nike Jonah (UK). After lunch, Yahi Nestor Gahe (Cote d'Ivoire/ Germany) presented his tour ready performance, Soliloque Danse.

The day continued with a list of performances forming part of the pitching series. These performances include:

Sharing Grandmothers – Lornoar & Benjamin Eche Cazelles (Cameroon/USA/Haiti) Man Child – Neil Michael Waithe (Barbados) NBTS Community Ensemble – Yamou Sosseh Bornström & Ensemble (Gambia/Sweden) Identity – Elhadji Cheikh Amath Niang (Senegal) Conundrum – Paul Anthony Morris (UK)

Towards the end of the day, a workshop, Arenes Center for Contemporary Theater, was presented by Isira Makuloluwe and João Garcia Miguel (Portugal). The day was concluded with a tour-ready presentation titled CALL NINA! The Diasporic Art of Josette Bushell-Ming, presented by Josette Bushell Mingo & Lamin Daniel Jadama (Sweden/UK/Gambia).

Day 3 of PACE- 08 July 2023

On day three, we reached the mid-way point of PACE 2023. The eventful day opened with a pitching series. The following productions formed part of the Pitching Series in the Albert Wessels Auditorium:

Les dieux délinquants – Djibril Ouattara (Burkina Faso) Nairobi Design Week – Naitiemu Nyanjom & Adrian Jankowiak (Kenya) The Apology – Patrick Kenny (South Africa) Kuweza Collection – Nchawaka Gift Kanyama (Zambia) KAKAPUSA – Toroga Denver (South Africa)

The first Work-in-Progress presentation of the day was 4 Cups by Leanetse Seekoe (South Africa). This was followed by a panel discussion, Arts Funding & Mobility on the African Continent (Pt 1).

After the discussion, another Tour-Ready Presentation, TEMBEA by Mumo Liku (Kenya), occurred.

Work-in-Progress Rebecca Drammeh (Sweden/Gambia) presented a Work-in-Progress piece titled Jainaba Wouldn’t Stop Dreaming, followed by two more presentations. The first was a Tour-Ready presentation, Mad Ice - Solo by Mad Ice (Uganda/Finland), in collaboration with Ndjara Rasolomanana (Madagascar/Finland).

The day concluded with two more presentations, a Tour-Ready piece, Black Brass, by Mararo Wangai & Mahamudo Selimane (Australia/Kenya) and a Work-in-Progress piece, The Colo(g)niser, by Andrew Manyika (Zimbabwe)

Day 4 of PACE- 09 July 2023

The first event on the program on the last day of PACE was a continuation of the Long Table Panel Conversation, Arts Funding & Mobility on the African Continent. Thereafter, the program continued with a Speed Networking Session where the following artists presented their works:

Melodi & Kgori – Kealeboga Mosekiemang (Botswana) Black to Normal – Marie-Lydie Nokouda (Cameroon/Denmark) Arenes Center for Contemporary Theater – Isira Makuloluwe & João Garcia Miguel (Portugal) Indigenous Food Story – Shihaam Domingo (South Africa) The Ethiopian Jews of Israel – Ilan Ossendryver (South Africa)

After the break, the activities continued with a Tour-Ready Performance in the Scaena Theater named T.E.N. by Tefo Paya (Botswana). This was followed by a Work-in-Progress Presentation by Buzani Dube (South Africa) titled Pieces for Peace.

The last pitching series of the day took place in the Albert Wessels Auditorium, where the following projects were pitched:

Forgot/Only – Andi Colombo (South Africa) HOWL – Said El Haddaji (Morocco) I AM REYKJAVIK – Sonia Hughes (UK) Deus : Ex : Machina – Louise Coetzer (South Africa)

The end of the day drew near as the annual First Nations Ceremony opened the 2023 Vrystaat Arts Festival. PACE was concluded with a Tour-Ready Performance, Mrisi Live, by Mrisi (UK/South Africa).

And so another eventful and successful year of PACE concluded. We hope to see more, hear more and discuss more at our future PACE events.