The Arts

About this page

The arts section is joining up with Ja. Magazine, an online platform that collects, curates and celebrates the work of local creatives, with a handmade twist. Together with Ja. Magazine, The Journalist Arts page will bring you interviews, reviews and profiles from arts and music festivals around the country. We bring you interviews with upcoming legends and community artists while providing history and context. We do this by celebrating the unique power of the talented men and women who have strengthened the creative fabric of our society through the ages.

How young filmmakers are protecting artistic freedom in Kenya

How young filmmakers are protecting artistic freedom in Kenya

Artistic freedom was always tenuous in Kenya, but it’s become even less so since Uhuru Kenyatta became president in 2013. The political pendulum has swung against political dissenters, intellectuals and a handful of media institutions that still believed in objective journalism. Progressive gains made under the previous administration of President Mwai Kibaki (2002-2013), such as the freedom of press and speech, have disintegrated. In particular, Kenyatta and the men overseeing the country’s...

No progress for the “rainbow nation” without redress, says artist

No progress for the “rainbow nation” without redress, says artist

Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp In Things we lost in the Rainbow, artist Athi-Patra Ruga tries to reclaim the spaces from which he and many others have been historically exiled. By Ashraf Hendricks for GroundUp. On a Monday evening earlier this month as part of the Live Arts Festival 2018, the Athi-Patra Studio took Capetonians on a two-hour procession with 35 performers through the city’s colonial origins. Using performance installations and psychedelic costumes, artist Athi-Patra Ruga was out to...

Philip Tabane: the African musical genius who played for the spirit

Philip Tabane: the African musical genius who played for the spirit

South African musician Philip Tabane, who died on 18 May 2018, hated being labelled. How he’d feel about the all official obituaries that confine him inside the jazz envelope is clear, "The jazz label – or any other label – has never worked in my case. Once, I went to play at a competition in Durban and in the end I was given a special prize because I could not be categorised. To this day, they still cannot categorise my music." That was from my second interview with the artist, in 1997 at the...

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