In This Section
The Alliance Française offer an exciting cultural program, bringing to South Africa the cultures of the French speaking world. Its involvement is also very strong in the promotion of Southern African artists and it encourages a true and fruitful dialogue between artists and cultures.
Born in Tunisia, Smadj reached international recognition in 2000 with his second album “Equilibriste” where he blends acoustic and electric sounds (ranked 4th at the European World Music Charts). Since then, Smadj has had a number of successful collaborations with great international artists: Rokia Traoré, Ballaké Sissoko, Natacha Atlas and many more.
« Oud Solotronic » traverses Smadj’s approach to and relationship with new music through a repertoire taken from all his albums. From classical Arabic lute and Turkish taksims, compositions open in the style of the masters, move to more electric and modern moods, and close with the modernity of the electric oud.
Smadj offers a solo repertoire for his African tour. His aim is to travel the world, inviting local musicians to every concert and capturing on video and sound these collaborations.
The Smadj « Oud Solotronic » tour is organised by the Alliance française of Southern Africa, supported by the Alliance Française Foundation and the Institut Français of South Africa (IFAS).
Johannesburg - Wednesday 5/10 at Bassline (Newtown) with Carlo Mombelli and Tlale Makhene
Harare - Friday 7/10 at the Alliance Française with Hope Masike
Buluwayo - Saturday 8/10 at « The Deck » at Banff Lodge (Hillside)
Pretoria - Wednesday 12/10 at the Alliance Française with AfriRythm and Toesessions
Cape Town - Thursday 13/10 workshop at Speke Studio
Cape Town - Friday 14/10 at the Alliance Française
A natural virtuoso who feeds off his many collaborations, Daniel Mille is an exceptional accordion player and composer whose melodical perfection and poetic world are awe-inspiring.
18/06 - Fête de la Musique in Newtown, Johannesburg
20/06 - East London
21/06 to 23/06 - Creation residence with Buskaid Ensemble
24/06 - Cape Town
29/06 - The Orbit, Johannesburg with Buskaid Ensemble and Stéphane Chausse
01/07 - Grahamstown with Stéphane Chausse, Van de Geyn and Ledbetter (collaboration entre 4 musiciens)
02/07 - Grahamstown with Stéphane Chausse
JESS & CRABBE
Jess & Crabbe is a duo of French DJs/producers. Since 2010, they also run Bazzerk, a label and multi-form entertainment project that focus essentially on non-occidental music and experimental upfront club music worldwide. They are greatly responsible for the emergence of Kuduro out of afro communities in Europe, US and Japan. Furthermore, Jess & Crabbe have become masters at the art of blending upfront innovative dance music from everywhere on the globe in order to generate a unique dance experience...
25/06 Port Elizabeth
VAUDOU GAME TOURING IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
IFAS and the Alliance Française are proud to present funk collective Vaudou Game for their first Southern African tour. Catch them from 27 May to 18 June across 9 African cities including at the Bushfire Festival (Swaziland), the Rainbow Club (Durban) and the Fête de la Musique in Joburg and Pretoria.
27-May - Bushfire Festival, Malkerns, Swaziland
28-May - Africa Day Concert, Joburg, South Africa
29-May – The Rainbow, Durban, South Africa
03-June - Horizon Bar and Restaurant, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
04-June - Alliance Française, Harare, Zimbabwe
05-June - Guga's Thebe, Langa, South Africa
11-June - Winter festival, Thaba Bosiu, Lesotho
16-June - Alliance Française, Lusaka, Zambia
18-June - Fête de la musique, Pretoria, South Africa
18-June - Fête de la musique, Joburg, South Africa
About Vaudou Game:
Peter Solo is a singer and composer born in Aného-Glidji, Togo, the birthplace of the Guin tribe and a major site of the Voodoo culture. He was raised with this tradition's values of respect for all forms of life and the environment. With his new band, Vaudou Game, Peter Solo claims, and spreads this spiritual and musical heritage.
Chants are at the heart of the Voodoo practice, but for times immemorial, harmonic instruments have never accompanied them. No balafon, no kora - only the "skins" support the singers. However, in 2012, Peter, along with his band based in Lyon, France, decided to explore and codify the musical scales that are found in sacred or profane songs of Beninese and Togolese Voodoo so they can be played easily on modern instruments. Peter composed the album Apiafo, using the two main musical scales of this tradition.
Watch the music video for their song Pas Contente HERE.
HUMAN, a documentary by Yann-Arthus Bertrand
HUMAN is a 2015 documentary by French environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The film is almost entirely composed of exclusive aerial footage and first-person stories told into the camera. It was the first movie to premiere in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations, to an audience which included U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
HUMAN is a collection of stories about and images of our world, offering an immersion to the core of what it means to be human. From stories of everyday experiences to accounts of the most unbelievable lives, these poignant encounters share a rare sincerity and underline who we are – our darker side, but also what is most noble in us, and what is universal. Our Earth is shown at its most sublime through never-before-seen aerial images accompanied by soaring music, resulting in an ode to the beauty of the world, providing a moment to draw breath and for introspection.
HUMAN is a politically engaged work which allows us to embrace the human condition and to reflect on the meaning of our existence.
This documentary will be screened in the Alliance Française network, on Friday 20 May, in celebration of the World Day for cultural diversity. Screenings will take place in Bulawayo, Mbabane, Cape Town, East London, Johannesburg, Lusaka, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth.
This event is supported by the Alliance Française in Southern Africa, the Fondation Alliance française and the Fondation GoodPlanet.
I SEE YOU WITH MY HEART by MIORA RAJAONARY
"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." Nelson Mandela
“I see you with my heart” is a multimedia project composed of a series of intimate portraits documenting interracial couples/families complemented by audio interviews that convey their personal experiences as a mixed couple/family in South Africa. It is one of the first documentary projects to examine mixed couples and families in post-apartheid South Africa and to explore the progress made and the challenges faced by the South African society to achieve full reconciliation, through the spectrum of interracial relationships.
Mixed relations embody the late former President and world icon Nelson Mandela’s visible legacy of integration and reconciliation. In 1950, the then government banned “sex between whites and all non-whites” by amending an existing law called the Immorality Act of 1927. Interracial relationships remained illegal until 1985. Today, mixed couples no longer need to hide their relationships and South Africa is learning to live with these mixed-race couples. The diversity of reactions faced by mixed couples when mentioning or showing the “nature” of their relationship illustrates the progress made and the challenges still faced by the society.
As some mixed couples see their relationships accepted and embraced by their families and entourage in other cases, being in a interracial relationship is not only an act of love but also a conscious tentative to disregard those opposed to their relationship, to overcome the challenges posed by social-political perceptions and prejudices inherited from the now dead segregated system of apartheid. Freedom came to South Africa in many ways, but this project wishes to emphasize the freedom of being able to love without prejudice.
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE SOUTHERN AFRICA TOUR DATES 2016:
Durban : from 13 to 16 May
Pretoria : from 2 to 14 May
Johannesburg : from 20 June to 3 July
Port Elizabeth : from 16 to 28 July
Maseru : from 8 to 31 August
MONGEZI NCAPHAYI'S EXHIBITION
Mongezi Ncaphayi might be known as an award-winning contemporary fine artist – his latest win being the Gerard Sekoto Award in the 2013 Barclays L’Atelier art competition – but this self-taught saxophonist is equally passionate about music. It is the meeting of these two creative processes that comes to life in Ncaphayi’s uplifting solo exhibition, Spirit’s Response, the first exhibition of the new year at the Absa Gallery, taking place from 7 to 26 February 2016.
The exhibition is Ncaphayi’s first solo exhibition since returning from his three-month residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris last year as part of his L’Atelier prize. He says it mirrors the people and situations he has come across, while at the same time paying homage to his love for visual and musical art.
“My work reflects my everyday life. It is a direct response to my life's experiences; a record of my thoughts, feelings and ideas about life's situations, the people I meet and my environment.
“My imagery feeds on musical influences, especially improvised music, and particularly that found in jazz. I also use my own musical improvisations to create visual compositions, making my artwork more personal. I explore the relationship between music and visual arts by listening to how music tells stories. I see my work as visual sounds and music,” Ncaphayi explains.
His interest in the technical and visual simplicity of the way his work deals with space is evident in his minimalist prints – 45 artworks of which are on display as part of Spirit’s Response.
Ncaphayi holds a National Diploma in Arts & Design (2005) from Ekurhuleni East College Arts School, a Professional Printmaking Certificate (2008) from Artist Proof Studio and a Certificate in Advanced Studies (2012) from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, USA.
Aside from the Barclays L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award, he has previously been awarded a scholarship from Linda Givon of the Goodman Gallery (2011); a fellowship to the Ampersand Foundation (2011); first prize in the Decision 2012 printmaking juried show at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (2012) and a grant from the Prince Claus Fund (2015).
As part of his Barclays L’Atelier prize, Ncaphayi is given the opportunity to host a travelling exhibition through the Alliance Francaise network comprising the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA), Alliance Francaise and the French Institute in South Africa. Spirit’s Response debuts at the Absa Gallery in February 2016 before moving on to Port Elizabeth in April.
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE SOUTHERN AFRICA TOUR DATES 2016:
Port Elizabeth : from 20 April to 22 May - Cape Town : from 16 June to 16 July - Pretoria : from 8 September to 6 October - Durban : 17 October to 6 November
CARTOONS AT LARGE
The Alliance française in Southern Africa presents an exhibition on freedom of expression as seen through the eyes of 50 cartoonists from all over the world. The aim is to stir up a debate on freedom of expression.
The Cartoons at Large (‘‘Dessins en liberté”) exhibition comprises 12 panels of press illustrations by 50 artists from around the world. Each panel is devoted to a specific theme concerning freedom of expression, such as censorship, Internet, corruption, women’s rights, rebellions, climate, sports, racism, etc. The drawings made by artists of 45 different nationalities have all been published in their respective countries.
While echoing the attacks against Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, this exhibit is broadening the perspective by illustrating the manner in which freedom of expression today comes into play on all continents.
This event aims at provoking a debate on the issue of freedom of expression as well as at facilitating relations and discussion between authors, illustrators, journalists, associations and representatives of civil society.
This exhibition is a joint project between the Institut français and the French weekly paper Courrier international. This weekly paper is available on www.culturetheque.com, the Institut Français’s digital library, open to any member of an Alliance Française library.
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE SOUTHERN AFRICA TOUR DATES 2016:
Johannesburg: March 2rd to March 20th
East London: April 5th to April 24th
Cape Town: May 3rd to May 27th
Port Elizabeth: June 3rd to June 30th
Lusaka: September 19th to September 30th
Gaborone: October 21st to November 30th
Louis Mhlanga and Régis Gizavo’s dream to tour Southern Africa this year follows their first meeting in 2002. Four years after this first encounter, they teamed up with percussionist David Mirandon to collaborate on an album, Stories, which won the prestigious Spin the Globe award in 2006. They now join forces once again to tour Southern Africa, drawing on their personal experiences to create a repertoire based on diversity and cultural dialogue. Working together, they focus on musical influences and artistic experiences that nourished them over the last decade. "Takalo", meaning “exchange” in Malagasy, reflects the spirit in which the two artists collaborate.
THE SOUTHERN AFRICA TOUR
Louis and Regis will rehearse their repertoire in Cape Town before starting embarking on their 11 dates, 5 countries tour. They will perform at Alliance française branches, taking part in the Francophonie celebration in March 2016.
TAKALO is organised by the Alliance française in Southern Africa, supported by the Alliance Française Foundation and the Institut Français of South Africa (IFAS).
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE TOUR DATES 2016:
Cape Town: 4 March 2016, Stellenbosch: 5 March 2016, Gaborone (Botswana): 9 March 2016, Lusaka (Zambia): 11 March 2016, Johannesburg: 12 March 2016, Pretoria: 14 March 2016, Bulawayo (Zimbabwe): 16 March 2016, Harare (Zimbabwe): 17 March 2016, Port-Elizabeth: 18 March 2016, Maseru (Lesotho): 19 March 2016, Durban: 21 March 2016