The University of the Witwatersrand celebrates 90 years of existence in 2012. The Wits Art and Literature Experience 2012 – named WALE 5.0 – will be one of the many highlight of this year-long celebration.
Now in its fifth year, WALE 5.0 takes place from 9 to 12 May 2012 and truly lives up to its name this year, offering an unforgettable experience featuring a jam packed programme including a carnival, concerts, dance, theatre, music, film, literature, fine art and photography.
The WALE 5.0 programme offers a heady mix of upcoming and established talent as well as the introduction of new and cutting edge artistic works, with daily free concerts on the Wits Library Lawns. The Lawns will form the pulsating heart of WALE 5.0. This year’s diverse programme includes book launches, exhibitions, round table discussions, theatre and dance productions, hosting host more than 40 diverse artistic items over four days. An added bonus is that all events are open to the public.
Wits University prides itself on not only being an academic space where theories are pontificated, experiments conducted and research published, but also a creative space, a place of ideas, original thought and a hive of cutting edge knowledge. Wits provides a complete educational experience, taking into account all aspects of life – where the tri-dimensional alliance of students, lecturers and alumni take an active part in all Wits activities.
Wits offers courses in all the arts disciplines and it is from this rich cultural and creative capital that WALE draws its diverse offerings. WALE is not just an arts showcase, the majority of productions and exhibitions are in-house and form a valuable part of the participants’ learning experience.
“The experimental element is an integral part of WALE,” says Professor Tawana Kupe, WALE founder and Champion-in-Chief. “For WALE 5.0 the emphasis is on further embedding a tradition of celebrating arts and culture, and providing our students and society with balanced knowledge of the world. We want to encourage students who experience the impact of WALE to go into their communities and initiate arts and culture projects and festivals,” continues Kupe.
WALE has come into its own and forms the peak of Wits’ offering of a series of public events throughout the year – such as the Africa Day celebrations in May and the Drama for Life programme, to name a few. Prof. Kupe further states “Wits is a public university and by maximising the utilisation of public spaces, further contributes to the democratisation of art. WALE as an annual event adds choice to the cultural landscape of Johannesburg, Africa and the world. Interfacing with the city and public access is crucial to the success of WALE.”
WALE 5.0 highlights include:
Wednesday, 9 May at 12:00: WALE 5.0 kicks off forming a procession from the Library Lawns, with a carnival meandering through the streets of Braamfontein and Parktown. The carnival is a colourful celebration of creativity and diversity and commemorating 90 years of Wits excellence. The procession will feature students, alumni, dancers, drummers, schools and floats built by inhabitants of Wits’ student residences. All Johannesburg citizens are invited join in the festivities and participate in the merriment.
Another highlight of WALE 5.0 is the long awaited opening of the Wits Art Museum (WAM), located on the corner of Jan Smuts Avenue and Jorissen Street in Braamfontein. The stakeholder opening of the museum will take place on 10 May, with an exhibition, aptly named WAM! Seeing Stars, featuring the most extraordinary and priceless collection of African art. Wits owns one of the most extensive collections of African art in the world consisting of more than 900 works and finally the public will have the opportunity to experience this phenomenal collection. WAM will also house the Centre for the Creative Arts of Africa. WAM is a treasure trove of African art that will be available for everyone to enjoy.
For a full programme and details of each event go to www.wits.ac.za/wale.