Press Release

FSAS 2019: Queer Edition – The Essential Ingredient

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The 3rd Annual Free State Arts Symposium is to be held on 21 March 2019 at Musicon from 9am.

Free State Arts Symposium (FSAS), in partnership with the National Arts Council, bring you Queer artists of various genres, practitioners, activists and researchers to apply their minds to issues relevant to their craft. FSAS 2019 has its distinct focus on queer artists, business and activism with the aim to facilitate interactive information sharing discussions. The Queer Edition distinguishes the speakers as ‘Essential Ingredient’ in various sectors of development, who have the power and influence to drive it. Our interest lies in collaborative efforts that support and stimulate the economic and business ideas in the industry.

Our program for the day features queer arts thinkers as follows, among others:

  • Our keynote speaker, Advocate Mpho Nefuri, who is a LGBTI+ Human Rights Defender will be giving us insight on safety and safeguarding livelihoods;
  • Visual activist Sir/Prof Zanele Muholi and Robert Hamblin with photography – Living Archives and Photography
  • Efemia Chela and Landa Mabenge with literature – Queer Histories In South Africa: Identities And Disruptive Narratives Of Being;
  • Wezile Mgibe and Asanda Mqiki with the performing arts – Social Justice: A Human Rights Concept in the Performing Arts.

FSAS seeks to provide a platform for arts research in South Africa to be presented, while creating awareness of the diversity of arts by encouraging a cross pollination of ideas. The panels have varied discussions on the representation of identities, visibility and resistance; thus providing an opportunity for artists, researchers and law practitioners to interact, discuss and explore ideas. Our mission is to explore the essence of what drives our panelists’ passion and how they navigate their spaces; deciding what matters, who is involved and which gains provide access to their sustainability and visibility. This is to capture an epic milestone in the making of their work, beyond borders of queer arts and activism in South Africa.

This year’s edition covers all aspects of the current practice including copyrights and bodies in the visual presentations / imagery, performances, publications in South African contexts of contemporary arts. More so is to consider the artists’ journeys as a spring board to a continuous learning and sharing platform, showcasing queer arts.

The mission of the FSAS is to facilitate interactive information sharing discussions with various artists in the country and find a way for collaborative efforts to support stimulating the economic and business ideas in the industry. In addition, the FSAS provides a platform for arts research in South Africa to be presented, create awareness of the diversity of arts and encourage a cross pollination of ideas, providing an opportunity for artists and researchers, law practitioners to interact, discuss and explore ideas.

What the speakers will share is how they navigate their spaces: deciding what matters, who is involved and which gains provide access to their sustainability and visibility. Our key note speaker, Advocate Mpho Nefuri, LGBTI Human Rights Defender giving insight on safety and safeguarding livelihoods. The panels have varied discussions on the representation of Identity(ies), visibility and resistance to the core of that ingredient—the essence of what drives their passion, power or performances towards activism that the FSAS 2019 seeks to engage, so that an epic milestone is captured in the making of their work— beyond borders of queer arts and activism in South Africa.

FSAS takes place on 21 March 2019 at Musicon, 41 First Avenue, Westdene. Tickets can be obtained at Quicket for R250. Call 076 037 1985 or email freestateartsymposium@gmail.com for more information.

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