Owela Festival gets underway

By Confidente Reporter

THE Owela Festival, the brainchild of Kaleni Kollectiv, is a four-day festival that is currently underway in Windhoek at various art institutions, including the National Theatre of Namibia, National Gallery of Namibia and The Boiler House at the KCAC in Katutura. It commenced on Tuesday and ends on 8 June.

Under the theme ‘The Future of Work’, the festival’s modus operandi is in essence a transnational and interdisciplinary event curated by the Kaleni Kollectiv. The collective compromises of Namibian and German artists that include Nelago Shilongoh, Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja, Veronique B. Mensah, Esmeralda Cloete, För Künkel, Trixie Munyama, Hildegard Titus and Julia Wissert.

The festival organisers had already initiated activities in May with the Kaleni Kollectiv performing in Recklinghausen Ruhrfestspiele in Germany from 8 to 12 May and then at the Theater Autiau Kreuzberg in Berlin on 16 and 17 June, with the final stage performance in Windhoek.

“The future of work is a global conversation that is happening around what we think labour will look like in the future. While some worry about artificial intelligence taking over jobs that were previously occupied by people, or question the future of labour unions in an increasingly individualistic and self-promoting world, this festival aims to look at what the future of work would mean like in Namibia and Germany. By looking at it’s painful past of violence and exploitation of labour, to how we think about work, wages, and rest today,” read the statement released by the Kaleni Kollectiv.

According to them, each artist has developed their own work around the theme, which then gives leeway for the audience to ponder what the future of work will look like for them. Entrance to the festival is free of charge and members of the public are invited and encouraged to take part in supplementary workshops and talks throughout the four-day festival.

The programme features various artistic performances, including dance, installations, film, talks, workshops and interventions in collaboration with local and regional artists.

Namibian artists that will take part in the festival in Windhoek include Filemon Iiyambo, Lukas Amakali, George Steyn, Simon Talento, Franklin Newman, Petrus Iipinge, Panash Pieters, Dimpz, Kevanhu Mufi, Theodore Eberenz, Kortez, Damara Dik Ding and Natache Iilonga. The SADC artists include Nandele Maguni (Mozambique), Malose Malahlela (South Africa), Tomgesai Machiri (Zimbabwe), Molemo Moiloa (South Africa), and Bernard Akoi-Jackson (Ghana).

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