The Basha Uhuru Youth Festival, Constitution Hill’s flagship arts festival, is nowin its fourth year. Held to coincide with Youth Month, the festival takes place from 2 to 25 June 2016. It is a celebration of the artistic freedom of the youth of South Africa, showcasing some of the best in emerging creative talent in film, theatre, music, literature and contemporary art.
Begun in 2012 as a week-long collaboration between Constitution Hill and the Johannesburg gallery, Kalashnikovv, the 2016 event is the first time the festival will be held throughout the month of June in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising. It’s also celebrating 20 years of the country’s Constitution.
The Basha Uhuru theme this year is empowering the youth through the creative industry by affording them platforms for freedom of artistic expression.
Embracing both history and the future, the festival will include a number of panel discussions addressing some of the challenges the youth of South Africa face today – issues of artistic freedom in the 21st century, free education and evolving movements such as the #FeesMustFall drive – and find ways to use the lessons of the past to find solutions to these contemporary concerns.
Student leaders and other relevant key stakeholders will lead the discussions, encouraging all attendees to get involved and have their say in determining a positive way forward.
The festival will feature a vast array of art exhibitions, film screenings, creative network exchanges and other discussions on the nature of art in modern South Africa as seen through the eyes of its emerging young creative talent.
Uhuru Youth Festival is here,
commemorating 40 yrs of the 1976 Soweto Student
Uprisings. The festival is FREE! pic.twitter.com/E5M6QL7ZVN
Constitution Hill SA (@VisitConHill) May 31,
Other, more unique exhibitions include a real-time tour that will re-enact the events of June 16th 1976. It follows the unfolding events on that fateful day from Orlando where students first gathered to the infamous Number 4 prison (where Constitutional Hill now stands) where students were incarcerated.
There will also be a heritage cycling tour between the Hector Pieterson Museum and Constitutional Hill held throughout the festival.
Constitution Hill is also offering complimentary tours to all young people between the ages of 18 and 22, including new additions to the year-round programme, the Walk With Madiba, Night and Time Travel tours.
As Youth Month also coincides with Environmental Month, there will also be a focus on environmental awareness, including multi-media art exhibitions by young emerging contemporary artists incorporating the themes of conservation and ecological responsibility.
The programme will climax with an all-star music concert at Constitution Square on 25 June, funded by the Department of Arts and Culture. The concert will feature a blend of contemporary South African musicians and DJs, names to be confirmed closer to the date.
For the latest updates and additional information on exhibitions at the festival, follow the Constitution Hill social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter (@VisitConHill) and Instagram (@visitconhill).
South Africa.info reporter