Artscape and its CEO Marlene le Roux honoured at Zuid Afrikahuis in The Netherlands
On Tuesday, 2 July 2019, Artscape CEO, Marlene le Roux and Dutch journalist, Bart Luirink from ZAM magazine had an open discussion at ZA Huis in Amsterdam, Netherlands about her work as arts practitioner at Artscape Theatre, her role as a gender and disability activist and her vision for a South Africa that is still grappling with Post-Apartheid restoration.
The conversation also focused on a project called Katrina – Die Dansende Taal, which played -to major critical acclaim- in South Africa. Iconic composer, Coenie de Villiers and choreographer and ballet dancer, Kirvan Fortuin brought the story of 85-year-old Ouma Katrina Esau -the last fluent speaker of the First Nation indigenous language, N/UU- to life on a dancescape with a video that depicts the actual collaboration and meetings between Ouma Katrina and the producers.
This is just one way in which Artscape wants to bridge the gap between stories that could easily fall through the cracks if not spotted in time – stories of people who may not ordinarily be in the mainstream media. For Artscape it is of paramount importance that the arts reflect these stories that speak to the diversity, transformation and self worth of individuals and communities that were marginalised in the past.
Marlene was warmly received by Judith Calmeyer Meijburg van Reekum, Director of ZA Huis, Isabelle Vermeij and one of the directors, Guido van den Berg. Artscape was presented with a framed postcard by ZAM Magazine of Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom in the presence of the South African Embassy in The Hague, representatives from Afrovibes, theatres in Amsterdam as well as anti-Apartheid activists and social justice organisations.
Friends of Artscape living in the Netherlands were also in attendance ~ Fedde Groot, Refugee and Migration consultant, Robert Guijt former director of the De La Mar Theatre, Connell Fortuin, teacher, writer and an absolute positive ambassador for South Africa and Leonie Verburg, also from ZAM Magazine.
In conversation with Bart Luirik, they discussed how the theatre builds bridges through culture in a country segregated on so many levels, as well as how the theatre evolves to become the space in which to to engage with in uncomfortable dialogues of social justice and economic justice.