Live Art Network Africa, Cape Town, South Africa 16 Feb 2023 - 19 Feb 2023
Sethembile Msezane. Excerpts from the Past. ICA Live Art Festival 2017. Photo by Ashley Walters.
The Live Art Network Africa (LANA) Gathering will be hosted in Cape Town from 16-19 February 2023. There’ll be performances, film screenings, panels and a website launch featuring artists from several African countries.
Live art (sometimes known as performance art) is an ephemeral art form. Works rarely live beyond the moment of their performance — this is the magic, the risk and the allure of this transient, non-commercial art form.
As a consequence though, artists have difficulty sustaining careers in live art precisely because it is momentary and unsellable. Despite the fact that live art (as performance, as ritual, as activism) has existed for centuries on the African continent, in the absence of infrastructure on the continent to support its growth and sustainability, the form is fragile.
In 2018 a group of practitioners, producers and writers met to address this fragility and allay the loss. The Live Art Network Africa (LANA) was established to create a platform for live art practitioners to connect with one another and the world — a resource for producers, production houses, writers, and curators as well as for artists. View the 2018 Symposium programme here.
At the LANA Gathering in February 2023, a website specifically designed for LANA will be launched — a resource and platform for amplifying live art on the continent and in the diaspora. It will by no means be complete, but constitutes a momentous first step.
The launch of the website will be accompanied by live art performances and film screenings from Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Algeria, Mozambique, South Africa and Nigeria amongst others. A symposium will engage critical themes around the development and sustainability of live art in Africa.
Registration will open with the full programme announcement in January 2023.