The Cape Town leg of the VIP Youth Festival was quite a success. Even though we had to deal with sub-zero temperatures and torrential rain, that didn’t stop people from turning up in numbers at Guga S’thebe, an Arts and Culture centre in Langa, Cape Town.
The line-up of the day’s events was divided into four categories which also included film screenings. Some of the films included Keys, Money, Phone by Roger Young and Jas Boude, a skateboarding documentary by UCT film students, Imraan Christian and Georgina Warner. Given the reality of the load shedding crisis we are faced with today all the screenings were powered by Sunshine Cinema: a ground-breaking solar-powered cinema which screens short uplifting films for the youth and rural communities.
The day kickstarted with screenings looking at race and space, which included a video by Live SA which went viral not long ago called “Camps Bay Suburban Tour“. Another interesting one was the “Racism in Cape Town” video which was also screened on eNCA. After the screenings, each of the filmmakers were given a chance to talk about what their films meant to them.
The attendees were also given an opportunity to comment and ask questions about what they had just watched. Thought-provoking questions were raised about racism in Cape Town and what can actually be done. Community member Zamile Hleli believes that conversations about race should be taking place in spaces where it is most prevalent and all types of people should be invited to participate. There was also a comment about how government should start promoting such debates and discussions about race and the various other issues that affect the youth.
Another highlight of the day was the screening of Keys, Money, Phone by Roger Young and Jas Boude by Imraan Christian and Georgina Warner. Keys, Money, Phone is about a young white man who loses all three of his belongings in a cab after a hectic night out. In rude and aggressive attempts to get his stuff back one can see that he feels entitled to the assistance of strangers and his friends. Roger explains that the film was meant to be “a fun film” but as the production continued there was an underlying issue of white privilege and entitlement embedded in the story.
As for Jas Boude, it’s about a group of young coloured skateboarders from Valhalla Park who leave their space to invade the city. “The structural design of Cape Town is built to separate the classes,” says co-producer Imraan. After the screening of the documentary, the discussion concentrated at looking at how accessible the CBD is to people that come from the townships and whether or not the space is welcoming to people who don’t stay within the city.
On a lighter note, the “Youth, Taxi Election Debate” had the crowd entertained. This debate was shot with a bunch of students in a taxi just before the elections in 2014, to see which political party deserves to win. That said, after all the insightful debates and discussions it proved to be a very fruitful day for meeting new people and getting an insight into how our peers feel about the current state of the youth.
Stay tuned for more coverage