Centre for Creative Arts

Centre for Creative Arts and South African State Theatre partner to drive Democracy Dialogues

The Centre for Creative Arts  at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the South African State Theatre  have  partnered  to  produce  a  monthly  online  programme  to  drive  participatory engagement  about  the  arts,  human  rights,  social  justice  and  democracy.  The  Artfluencing
Democracy  Dialogues  evolved  from  the  successful  Artfluence  Human  Rights  Arts  Festival produced by the Centre for Creative Arts during 2021.

“With  more  than  50 000  social  media  engagements  during  the  Artfluence  Human  Rights Festival last year we recognized the value of developing a sustained platform for artists and audiences to engage with each other throughout the year about the way in which the arts can contribute meaningfully   to address contemporary socio-political issues”, said Ismail Mahomed, the Director of the Centre for Creative Arts.

Mahomed added that the South Africa State Theatre was an ideal partner for the project.
“The State Theatre has a track record for producing and presenting theatre productions that courageously and creatively engage with the complexities of South African societies. From productions that have creatively iconized South African heroes such as Winnie Mandela and Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu to giving a voice to a new generation of young South Africans the South  African  State  Theatre  has  built  a  repertoire  of  work  that  has  been  catalytic  for advancing a discussion about our democracy. Within our University environment a reflection on their work is vital for both archival and scholastic purposes”, added Mahomed.

The South African State Theatre’s mission is to be a vibrant and dynamic arts and culture institution that integrates social and cultural diversity while maintaining a healthy balance between artistic creativity and fiscal stability. Its multi-award winning theatre productions are underpinned by a unique, engaging and diverse artistic offering that encourages audience growth  and  an  appreciation  for  the  performing  arts  whilst  contributing  to  education and socio-economic transformation.

The  Theatre’s  partnerships  and  collaborations  embraces  information  and  communication technology to support its  strategic direction and the achievement of its goals. The Theatre’s partnership with the Artfluencing Democracy Dialogues amplifies the Theatre’s  values  to encourage the constitutional rights to freedom of expression and freedom of artistic creativity whilst promoting mutual respect, responsibility and accountability.

Dr Sibongiseni Mkhize, CEO of the South African Atate Theatre added that “the South African State  Theatre  is  honoured  to  be  partnering  with  the  Centre for Creative Arts  on  the Artfluencing Democracy Dialogues. This partnership underscores the theatre’s commitment to  become  the  home  of  African  intellectual thought and critical scholarship, which is manifested in our diverse artistic  programme.  The theatre is constantly on a journey of deepening the conversation about the role of the arts in influencing democracy, social justice and social change, while also robustly and uncompromisingly engaging in debates about the future of the arts within a rapidly transforming socio-economic and political landscape.”

The Artfluencing Democracy Dialogues will be researched and produced by a team of young interns at the Centre for Creative Arts to enable and empower them with skills, knowledge and experiences in digital technology, communications and South African socio-politics. The interns at the Centre for Creative Arts will work with a team of professionals from the State Theatre so that the textured engagement can better prepare the interns for functioning in a competitive and ever-changing job market.

The architecture of the 12-month project will be built on both the South African calendar and the UNESCO international calendar. Full details will be announced in the inaugural episode of the project that will be livestreamed on the YouTube channel of the Centre for Creative Arts( ) and on the South African State Theatre YouTube  Channel  (  on  Monday  28 February 2022 at 10h00.

For media enquiries: For the Centre for Creative Arts
Siphindile Hlongwa Senior Administrator
Mobile:  078 300 4603

For the South African State Theatre
Thakgatso Setseta Publicist
Email: Mobile: 0788233596.


Editors Notes:
About the Centre for Creative Arts
The Centre for Creative Arts is a multi-cultural hub in the School of Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The Centre for the Creative Arts is a champion for democracy, human rights, social justice, creative education and access to the arts for all. The Centre advocates for the Constitutional rights of Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Creativity. The Centre presents the following annual festivals which have a strong international profile for artistic excellence and for  driving  social  engagement:  Poetry  Africa,  Time  of  the  Writer,  JOMBA, Durban International Film Festival, Cabaret And Beyond and the Artfluence Human Rights Festival.

About the South African State Theatre
The South African State Theatre is the prestigious theatre of choice for a distinctly Pan-African experience. The Theatre of Africa. The biggest in Africa and number seven in the world, SAST boasting six world class auditoriums equipped to host any event or production of any size. It is  a destination  of  choice  for  inspiration,  education  and  socio-economic  transformation underpinned  by  unique,  engaging,  and  diverse  artistic  offering  that  encourages  audience growth and an appreciation for the performing arts.


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