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46 WS The arts played a significant role in the history of South Africa. One only needs to look at how many artists were exiled or incarcerated how much art was banned to understand the role the arts played and still do. Any story told whether through photography music dance film painting sculpture or theatre is embedded with socio-political themes. There is no way of avoiding this. One may not create with that intention but one is always unable to divorce the world that inspired the piece from the piece itself. PM When speaking at the recent ACTIUJ Creatives in Conversation series you emphasised the importance of collaboration. Please underline the concomitant value that could be derived from breaking the silos that exist in the arts industry WS Collaboration is very important. More people are sharing the risk artistically of creating the piece. More people are sharing the risk financially of producing the piece. And if these people have access to spaces that can mount the production then the production has a longer life that the limited seasons that currently exist in the industry. This means that more people get to see the show and ensures an extended period of employment for the freelance artists concerned. PM There seems to be a trend across the industry of artists touring their work to the overseas market. Why is this Would you say their artistic creation is valued more intentionally WS A quote by Nina Simone is circulating on social media You need to leave the table when love is no longer being served. For some artists they seem to have found a keen audience and producers who are willing to take the risk on their work overseas. This is not a bad thing because they inadvertently become artistic ambassadors to the country. We receive a lot of American culture on our shores and it is important that artists are able to tour globally in order to guard against a single story being told about how South Africans approach art. From colleagues and friends abroad though the challenges we face in the industry are the same challenges they face on their own shores. PM Complete the sentence Being an artist in South Africa is WS An act of inspired courage for the curious observant and determined active dreamer who is constantly challenged to accept that the more you know the less you know. BEING AN ARTIST IN SOUTH AFRICA IS... AN ACT OF INSPIRED COURAGE FOR THE CURIOUS OBSERVANT AND DETERMINED ACTIVE DREAMER WHO IS CONSTANTLY CHALLENGED TO ACCEPT THAT THE MORE YOU KNOW THE LESS YOU KNOW. Right Warona Seane Photo Soweto Theatre Photo Supplied Precious Maputle