The Stellenbosch University (SU) Woordfees launched its programme for 2017 on Thursday (17 November) at a long-table event held in Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch.
Approximately 500 people attended the function where the programme for the 2017 festival, which will be held from 3 to 12 March, was announced. The festival theme is "wys" (wise/show). The new logo and television advertisement was also shown at the event.
Prof Nico Koopman, Vice-Rector: Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel, welcomed the guests saying that SU would like to be transformative in all spheres of society.
"We want to ensure human dignity and equality through the arts. Art undermines that which is ugly, and helps us to see beauty," said Prof Koopman.
Saartjie Botha, Director of the SU Woordfees and WOW Project, gave a summary of some of the highlights on the 2017 programme. "One should steer away from superlatives, but I believe we have the most beautiful programme ever planned for next year. Through the festival and our programme we show that the SU Woordfees is for the arts and that we resonate within the community," she said.
The writers' programme is the biggest aspect of the festival, and in 2017 it will be the first time that international writers will talk about their latest books.
Some 36 dramas will be staged, among others Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona's iconic Sizwe Banzi is Dead and Reza de Wet's Drif. A drama which addresses the current topics around student fees and the #feesmustfall protest action, The Fall, will also be performed.
The music programme is filled with concerts of popular and classical music. An international jazz trio performs, the SU Choir will sing, and SU alumnus Megan-Geoffrey Prins, an acclaimed pianist who currently studies in America, will present a piano recital.
Big music stars will again perform at Coetzenburg.
A comprehensive film festival has been compiled, with films such as Die Rebellie van Lafras Verwey directed by Simon Barnard, as well as The Endless River by the Cape Town filmmaker Oliver Hermanus.
Athi-Patra Ruga has been chosen as the festival artists, and a retrospective exhibition of his work will be held. He was born in Mtata in the Eastern Cape, but now lives and works in Cape Town. Several solo and group exhibitions can also be seen.
Tickets are already on sale at Computicket. For more information, visit www.woordfees.co.za.