A coup for the vNAF is the world premiere of Nixon in Agony. The audio drama, recorded by Steven Berkoff in London and produced by Robert Harder in Los Angeles, adapts the existing script for a holographic drama by Adam Donen. A president facing impeachment, sitting alone, angry and drunk in the Oval Office the night before the hearing could be lifted directly from current headlines. The year is 1974 and the president is Richard Nixon. Reminiscent of Complicité’s Encounter, the work is an immersive binaural experience which will take you into a bewildering place – the American presidential mind. In order to experience Nixon in Agony as its creators intended, listening in isolation with stereo headphones is strongly advised. As amazing as virtual can be, there will be many missing the sounds and sights of Makhanda. Roddy Fox and Harry Owen have you covered as they present In Tandem: Poetry and Imagery. Birdsong and ambient sounds provide aural texture to panoramic views of the city of saints and surrounds. Sounds from the Eastern Cape are amplified by Joliza Magayiyana’s Bhacasoul, as he presents the music of the Ama Bhaca, from Emawushenu village in Mount Frere. End the day with 432Eros, who take you to a different space and time with their mysterious sonic tempo.
THURSDAY 25 JUNE
Songs are like the Grass: Madosini in ConcertMusic
A fascinating glimpse into the life and music of the 2020 National Arts Festival Featured Artist.
Attempt on Dying
Boris Nikitin relates the story of his father’s lethal ALS-disease and his own story of coming-out as a gay man 20 years ago.
Lo-Def Film Factory: Open TimeFilm
An experimental Whatsapp video workshop by young creatives from Cape Town made inside their homes and communities during lockdown. Be-Kind-Rewind-style amateur reenactments: low budget film realness.
The Bach Cello SuitesMusic
Bach’s six suites for solo cello are profound and sublime. Leading South African cellist, Peter Martens performs the entire cycle.
Ukuhlolwa kwePhuphaFilm, Performance Art
An experimental film exploring daily routine, a dreamscape and media technologies. An investigation of the obscure and malleable line that divides the three experiences
A commentary on loss & grieving and the processing thereof within the current epoch and a reflection on the debilitating feelings of powerlessness.
Azibuye – The OccupationFilm
A stereo 360 documentary about two homeless black artist/activists who take up residence in a crumbling mansion, vacant for 20 years, in an affluent part of Johannesburg.
Deep Spacer, 433 Eros album launchMusic
433 Eros is the new album by Johannesburg electroacoustic trio ‘Deep Spacer’. Poly-genre improvisations are mediated through responsive audio technologies and supported by visual transformations.
Who Do We Come To H(a)untDrawing, Performance Art
Who Do We Come to H(a)unt is a place where alternative stories can be drawn and told, and old hegemonic histories can be re-customised.
Frequencies of a birthmark – Episode 2Visual Art
A revisitation through collages and animated videos of an 1895’s image of Godide, the last ruler of the Gaza Empire.
META | m o r p hInteractive video art
An interactive online experience fusing dance, music, projection art and animation to ideate digital disruption of the human experience.
Futurabilities is an online action exploring human-automatic conversational possibilities that will run during the whole festival
The Voice in Your HeadTalk, Performance Art
A playful, interactive, live Zoom show exploring the nature of mindfulness. At times a performance, at other times a participatory game.
isitimela Sendaba – The Story Train
11 days, 11 vibrant storytellers bring you a daily dose of African stories to engage and delight! Come journey with us on the ASSITEJ SA story train.
Nixon in AgonyTheatre
Cinema legend Steven Berkoff plays an American President going mad and about to be impeached. World premiere from a Grammy Award winning production team.
Lagos at LargeFilm
History, colonialism, growth, nostalgia, decay and transformation collide in this introduction to Lagos, as three characters mould the identity of their megacity and where they belong in it.
Human Study #1 from a distanceWebinar
Human Study #1 is an installation in which humans can take part in online streamed performances in which they are drawn live by robots located in Belgium.
Blood and Snow ManifestoPerformance Art
A praise poem to the transformative power of trauma, the unique aesthetic of the disabled body, as well as a preemptive swan song to mortality.
In Tandem: Poetry to ImageryPoetry
Experience the beauty of Makhanda through the interplay of poetry and imagery ‘In Tandem’ with renowned local artists Harry Owen and Roddy Fox.