Award-winning South African creates new work for Birmingham

Acclaimed South African artist Anthea Moys will be creating new works as part of the UK-wide Afrovibes festival.

From Monday 20th to Sunday 26th October 2014, Afrovibes celebrates the 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa at such venues such as mac birmingham, The Drum and Birmingham Rep. As part of the festival programme, Friction Arts are hosting a Township Cafe at mac birmingham and also The Drum, and have invited Anthea to collaborate.

During apartheid, Township Cafés – often cobbled together from junk materials – were repeatedly used as underground meeting places for the democratic movement in South Africa. Today, they remain vibrant and vital venues, part of the very fabric of a modern, democratic nation.

The Birmingham cafés are places for conversation and meeting, featuring artworks and objects leant by members of the city’s African communities, as well as new artworks created by Friction Arts and visiting Johannesburg-born artist Anthea Moys.

Anthea, whose work explores connections between play, games, rule making and performance, has been working closely with Friction, responding to the stories and connections they have made in Birmingham. She will create public realm intervention artworks that will occur at within Afrovibes venues and out in communities during the festival.

Friction Co-Director Sandra Hall said, “Birmingham may not have a large South African community, but people from many other African diasporas live across the city. We want the Township Cafés to represent the experience of Africans living in Birmingham today.

“The cafés are spaces that bear the many different stories of the people we’ve met, and tell those stories to visitors. We are also facilitating live links with people in South Africa at the larger mac birmingham cafe, allowing open conversations with our two countries.”

Of working with Anthea, Friction Co-DirectorLee Griffiths said: “Five years after we first worked together in Johannesburg, we’re very excited to be creating with Anthea in our home city of Birmingham. She’s a rising star of the international art scene and her work is always exciting and surprising.”

A Township Café for Birmingham is supported by Birmingham City Council Culture Commissioning service through their Culture on Your Doorstep scheme, UK Arts International and Arts Council England.

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