AND IT GOT BIGGER, AND BIGGER, AND BIGGER …
THE ROCK BITER
The NeverEnding Story
Allow me explain:
Remember The Nothing from the 1984 movie, The NeverEnding Story, directed by Steven Spielberg? The Nothing is the overarching antagonist and primary threat of the 1979 German fantasy novel (or rather, the first half of the novel) Die unendliche Geschichte and Spielberg’s 1984 film adaptation of the same name. Yes, the one with the catchy theme song by Limahl.
Imagine for a minute you’re an artist or a creative (no need to imagine if you are one), well that’s what COVID-19 is: the overarching antagonist and primary threat to your livelihood, which is dependent on social closeness, not social distance …
That’s why an unfestival …
Because very little makes sense right now.
By its very nature, a festival of nothing makes no sense.
Festivals are celebrations of traditions, cultures and things we love.
But the pandemic came and turned everything on its head. Hence, this unfestival.
This is not a celebration.
This is a tribute.
This is a memorial for so many of the things we love … which this lockdown has robbed us of …
WHAT IS UJ’s UNFESTIVAL?
It’s really simple. It’s not a festival. A not-festival. Get it?
In partnership with long-standing BASA member, the University of Johannesburg, we saw the opportunity to collaborate on this symbolic concept for the benefit of students in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture and, through our partnership Artist Relief campaign, for the sector as a whole. The actual and projected impact of COVID-19 will have a particularly devastating effect on the creative sector. We recognise that the widespread cancellations of festivals, concerts, productions, exhibitions, events and cultural programmes, locally and internationally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is a Sword of Damocles, hanging over the livelihoods of artists globally. We know that very few arts and culture organisations will have adequate reserves to sustain them through these uncertain times. So, UJ’s UNFESTIVAL partnered by BASA is an opportunity to show up, even if you can’t — by buying a ticket to nothing (well … maybe something, you’ll have to buy a ticket to see) …
WHAT DO I GET WHEN I BUY A TICKET?
No. No kidding.
You get zip. Zero. Nada.
But maybe you get to make a difference.
Go on …
Do the right thing … You know you want to 🙂
THIS IS THE new reality, because never before has technology ‘connected’ people the way it is currently doing now, and at UJ, which is why we have been embracing the opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. UJ embarked on a blended learning initiative a while ago, and our online teaching and learning platforms already yield significant benefits when layered with face-to-face instruction. I believe that when COVID-19 lockdown is lifted, our current and prospective students and staff will have had a better experience and understanding of the online teaching and learning, in such a way that they still enjoy a measure of intimacy and immediacy.
PROFESSOR TSHILIDZI MARWALA
Vice-Chancellor and Principal: University of Johannesburg (UJ)
COVID-19 HAS FORCED the world to unite and fight against this invisible enemy. The challenge and the fight are real as the virus impacts lives, livelihoods, the economy, and highlights the inequalities that need to be addressed. The BASA Board of Directors acknowledges the continued challenges artists are subjected to. We celebrate their resilience and appreciate the role that they play in provoking thought and uplifting the energies of the consumers of the arts.
Chairperson: Business and Arts South Africa NPC (BASA)