The fourth annual Wits Arts and Literature Experience (WALE) lived up to its theme of “going over the edge” by showcasing an expanded programme of art, music, literature and film. The experience was staged at venues across campus and in Braamfontein from 11 – 14 May 2011.
WALE founder and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Tawana Kupe, envisaged an event this year that would “feature a considerable number of collaborations with different Wits faculties as well as other institutions” – and the experience did not disappoint!
WALE 4.0 kicked off on with “Witsies on Parade”, a spectacular, burlesque-themed romp across campus and Braamfontein reminiscent of the RAG processions of yore.
The Wits visual arts and music department presented digital art and sound-scape collaborations, while the Wits Theatre, the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and Sibikwa Arts Centre joined forces to produce a number of cutting-edge drama productions. Never-yet-seen works such as the Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative’s production of Smoke and Mirrors, directed by Athena Mazarakis, and Helen Iskander’s visual theatre production Planet B, made their debut at WALE 4.0 to rave reviews.
Saxophonist Zim Ngqawana’s unexpected death just days before he was due to perform at WALE 4.0 was a sad disappointment. But other talented musicians, such as The Parlotones’ Kahn Morbee in his ‘Blind Watchmen’ incarnation, delivered a stellar performance.
The experience also included book launches, exhibitions, reviews, public lectures and regular updates from the revamped Voice of Wits (90.5FM), all of which came together to cement WALE as one of Joburg’s premier annual arts festivals.