This year, AWAE will showcase productions from Music, Theatre, Dance, Visual Arts and Poetry produced, performed, and directed by WOMEN at the Eldorado Arts Centre. As part of its mission of cooperation between French and South African cultural and creative industries, The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) is partnering with the SA Shack Theatres Innovator & Originator for the organisation of the Public Art Event of the Amazing Women Arts Event (AWAE) in Vaal, Sebokeng, in Gauteng. It will take place from 18th to 21st August 2022, including 2 days of workshops and 2 days of public performances. This event will take place as a part of the women’s month celebration.
Throughout the years in the Arts, there has been a lack of opportunities, especially for women. As a result, it is rare to find women directing, performing, and telling their own stories. This means there is a whole world of rich, diverse stories waiting to be told, and more platforms are needed where these stories can be heard, encouraged, and inspired.
One of the priorities of the event is to give a platform to both undiscovered and professional talents who are predominantly working in communities in South Africa. The event merges work by professionals and amateurs to transcend skills and ideas.
AWAE wants to celebrate women and the beauty of art, culture and heritage in disadvantaged communities and uplift the socio-economic environment by creating jobs and providing a stage for women. This year’s event is about empowering women and celebrating their hard work in the industry. AWAE aims to provide a safe space for creative expression within disempowered communities where most incidents of gender-based violence are perpetuated and never spoken about.
As a continuity of the work that Mandisi Sindo has been doing with the Shack Theatre, through creating platforms within communities at risk, AWAE celebrates works directed, produced, and performed predominantly by women, with the aim of empowering communities at risk. The AWAE is an annual multi-disciplinary integrated art event that has taken place in the township of Cape Town since 2013 on National Women’s Day, 9th August. The origin of AWAE stems from Sindo’s upbringing, in a single-mother household. The strength and resilience of his mother is the source of his inspiration when it came to conceptualising AWAE. The programme, however, was realised thanks to the work of Somila Toyi, who is currently the official curator of AWAE. She was initially a participant at one of the Healing and Teaching Women workshops that Sindo used to hold but has since played a vital role in developing AWAE. It is the participants of those workshops that asked Sindo to start AWAE, and so the programme came to fruition.