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BAT CELEBRATES WOMEN'S DAY (article first published : 2006-08-6)

Women's Day at the BAT Centre in Durban's Small Craft Harbour will be a busy, significant and powerful time. There will be a week-long festival at the BAT Centre from Woman's Day (August 9) themed: "Marching to defend democracy and the total freedom of SA Women."

The week's events include the Murals 2006 exhibition which focuses on Heroines of the Struggle for Human Rights. The murals were made possible by the young women and men from the BAT Centre's Artists in Residency programme. This was done through interactive workshops with artists and women who are carrying the history of women's struggle.

"The challenge still lies with us, as there is less documented information about our grandmothers, mothers and sisters who marched to Pretoria 50 years ago,” said Nise Malange, director of BAT. “Our dream is to build a monument dedicated to all the 20,000 women that fought for this freedom. We see these portraits as the beginning of unmasking our veterans who have passed on."

There will be an art exhibition visually paying tribute to women in both the galleries at BAT. Among the participating artists are Hlengiwe Buthelezi, Nozipho Mbhele, Phumzile Hadebe; Zama Mkhize and Sis M.

Also featured will also be some articulate, emotional, rap, slam and no-hold-barred poetry written mostly by and for women around the Women's Day theme. A group of 15 passionate women wordsmiths from the Young Basadzi group have been preparing for this event by hosting sessions to share experiences of what Women's Day means to them as a means of inspiring appropriately-themed verse.

Four women maskanda groups will perform on August 9. An audience vote will decide which of the four is the favourite and that group will join the line-up for the culminating concert.

The Women’s Day celebrations will culminate in a concert on August 12 at 19h30 featuring the Mahotella Queens and Durban Diva Busi Mhlongo in a concert in the BAT Hall. The favourite of the four Maskanda groups will also join the line up. The Mahotella Queens are described as representing so much of what is the best in South African music: the finely honed art of passionate singing, the latticework of funky rhythms and the breath-taking art of spectacular live performance.

Appropriately, August 12 is the eleventh anniversary of the BAT Centre. The first 100 tickets sold in advance will also allow the ticket holder entry to the BAT Birthday Cocktail party at which the BAT Hall will be re-named the Sipho Gumede Hall in honour of the great Durban musician who passed away on July 26, 2004.

For more information contact the BAT Centre on 031 332 0451.




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