The Sustain our Africa Summit, which aims to bring the concept of sustainability in Africa closer to the public, kicks off 24 October at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and will run until 26 October. It will also attract a lot of cool events around it, such as an art evening featuring exhibitions at five galleries and a film festival including a short film competition.
According to oxforddictionaries.com “to sustain” means “to strengthen or support physically or mentally,” a rather vague definition when one has to apply this to Africa and its ‘sustainability’. The latter is a term that is being thrown around a lot in an era in which our world’s resources are slowly but surely coming to an end. Yet however often heard, many of us may wonder what exactly this trendy term stands for. That’s why the organisers of Sustain Our Africa have made it their goal to celebrate as well as promote and teach the concept to the people of our propitious continent. Under the theme “Can Africa deliver enough for all, forever?” local and international speakers will be part of the Sustain our Africa Summit that runs alongside various sustainability-themed events within the week of October 22 to 28.
The Summit, which is for delegates only, will be held over three days at the Clock Tower Plaza at the V&A Waterfront and will cover topics such as ‘Why Cities Make Us Fat and Sick’, ‘Can Restoring Our Environment Restore Our Economy?’ or ‘Imagineering a New City’. To liven things up a bit, the speeches will be interspersed by inspirational pauses made up of, for example, an interactive rhythm workshop, a performance by comedian Mark Sampson or a film by Kumi Naidoo. And on day three, so-called Change Rooms will take place. Important thought leaders from various industries will lead workshops in order to enlighten participants about how change can be achieved at their own organisations. one small seed’s founder/editor in chief, Giuseppe Russo, will talk about how imaginative solutions in design and publishing have the power to transform thinking and inspire action as part of the ‘Publishing, Design and Creativity’ Change Room, which will take place at 3pm. Additionally, Greenpop will be hosting a Youth Summit on 27 October for inquisitive youngsters from some schools that were featured as part of the planting trees initiative. The pupils will be driven to the event to participate in a programme of interactive learning.
One of the highlights, which is open to the public, is an art evening on 25 October. It will feature exhibitions across town at the Smac Art Gallery, The Book Lounge, The Fringe, Blank Projects and A Word of Art. Nobody has to walk, a bus will take attendees around the city to engage in artistic ideas around sustainability and an after-party at Moyo Restaurant, V&A Waterfront will finish the evening off.
Another priority for the artsy amongst us, is the SoA Festival for Change, which will run from 22 to 27 October at the Labia. South Africa’s leading contemporary artists, designers, filmmakers and authors will showcase their creative stance on how to sustain our world’s resources. Most of the screenings will take place at the Labia and include films on climate change from Letters from the Sky as well as films from Puma’s Films4Peace project and Projekt Ubuntu. Also, entries for a short film competition, for which the brief is the Manifesto of Change, will be screened at the Clocktower Plaza on 24 October and the winner will be announced the same night.
If it’s not for educational and anti-apocalyptic values, it’s worth attending the event for the fun of it. For those who like to potter about, there’ll be a newly launched market in front of Moyo Restaurant. Until then let’s do what we can to keep Mother Earth around to live on for a while.
For more information and to download a programme go to: www.sustainourafrica.org
Or visit their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/sustainourafrica?fref=ts
Words: Christine Hogg