Why South African artists are getting a raw deal [UPDATED]

The lockdown has revealed just how vulnerable South Africa’s artists and creative freelancers really are, with many taking to Twitter and the streets out of desperation for more government support.

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00:00 Intro
00:54 Art got us through lockdown
01:55 Art is what makes us human
02:57 Art has both soft & economic power
03:45 Lockdown hits arts sector hard
05:29 The arts relief fund
07:08 “Minister of Condolences & Congratulations”
07:47 The problems started way before 2020’s lockdown
10:06 The arts sector is super unregulated
10:56 South Africa’s ridiculous royalties laws
12:14 Solutions to the crisis
14:20 Outro

In this episode, Gabriella Pinto takes a closer look at how the lockdown has affected the arts and culture sector – one which typically needs social proximity, not distancing, to work – and what might be some solutions for a more long term sustainable arts sector in South Africa.

Episode Guests:

-Renowned actress, writer, poet & performer, Lebo Mashile, who speaks about the systemic issues that curtail the sector’s development.
-Acclaimed actress and writer, Buhle Ngaba, who details how the virus directly impacted her work and the challenges to get relief funding.
-Siviwe Ngani from Tshimologong Digital Innovation precinct (which hosts the digital arts festival, Fak’ugesi Festival), explains the pros and cons of creating work online.


1. Buy musicians’ music on www.bandcamp.com instead of streaming
2. Get tickets to streamed live gigs at www.quicket.co.za, www.webtickets.co.za and other ticketing websites
3. Support the #iam4thearts movement: https://iam4thearts.org.za/
4. Tell us your ideas in the comments!

South African Screen Federation: http://www.sasfed.org/p/members.html
Writer’s Guild of South Africa: https://writersguildsa.org/
South African Guild of Editors: https://www.editorsguildsa.org/
South African Society of Cinematographers: http://www.sacia.org.za/pages/sasc.htm
South African Guild of Actors: https://www.saguildofactors.co.za/
Sisters Working in Film and Television: http://www.swiftsa.org.za/
Independent Producers Organisation: http://ipo.org.za/

Disclaimer: Politically Aweh has been previously funded by the National Film and Video Foundation, which falls under the Dept of Sports, Arts & Culture. This previous funding history in no way influenced the content of this episode.

If you read this far – please consider donating to or advertising with Politically Aweh – we need your financial support. Contact info@politicallyaweh.co.za today.

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