The arts, in the shape of a new stage play by Mike van Graan and a volume of poetry, comes together with food security over the coming week as some 600 national and international delegates travel to Cape Town for the 3rd International Conference on Global Food Security.
Themed Global Challenges, Local Solutions and Connected Pathways, the Conference runs at the Cape Town International Conference Centre 2 from 3-6 December 2017. It is hosted by information and analytics company Elsevier, publisher of some of the world’s leading science journals in association with the Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the University of Pretoria.
Acclaimed South African playwright Mike van Graan will on the eve of the conference stage Another One’s Bread, a play commissioned by the CoE. Billed as a dark satirical comedy, Another One’s Bread touches on several themes related to hunger – including gender, class, apartheid’s legacy of spatial geographies – through the relationships between four women. Boasting an all female cast, the play is directed by Pamela Nomvete (currently making waves in the television series, Lockdown) and features Faniswa Yisa, Chuma Sopotela (recently announced as the 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist for Performance Art), Motlatji Ditodi and Awethu Hleli. It will run at the AFDA Theatre, 228 Lower Main Road, Observatory, every night (except Sunday the 3rd) from 1-9 December, at 20h00.
Then at the Conference itself, presenters and special guests will each be presented with a copy of Cutting Carrots the Wrong Way: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose about Food, edited by Kobus Moolman, associate professor of creative writing at UWC. The volume – another initiative supported by the CoE – features contributions by writers on the University’s master’s in creative writing programme first presented at the Poetry in McGregor festival held in August this year, and launched at the Food Politics and Cultures Festival on 10 November. The collection explores the intersections between family, security, identity, society and food.
These initiatives allow for a different expression of the challenges of food security, says UWC’s Professor Julian May, director of the CoE. Similarly, he notes, the Centre supported the participaton of writer and performance poet Shirmoney Rhode at Poetry in McGregor, renowned for writing predominantly in ‘Kaapse Afrikaans’, the dialect of Afrikaans spoken in the Western Cape.