When traveling to any foreign country, one of the most common things for travelers to consciously pick up on are the typical cultural habits of the people of their new country. This can often lead to culture shock, with people becoming frustrated with how things are done, either because of a lack of understanding, having adapted to a particular way of going about things, and being wary of change, or maybe there are legitimate reasons from time to time for such frustrations to occur. Read more
Only the affluent folks around here drive the b’mers and fancy cars, or take the 20 Rand per trip transportation on the newly launched Gautrain and bus. The new trains and buses are luxurious but still very limited in its service routes and time schedules. These modes of transportation are not feasible for the majority of South Africans, who use the cheaper taxis (usually an old minibus packed to capacity), or they wait for Metrobuses that may or may not arrive depending on the strike situation in town, or they walk very, very long distances or they stay at home…in township (informal settlement) Neverland, far, far away. Read more
Interstudy student, Joshua Wilder will be producing a play this semester in Cape Town. Wilder is a 4th year actor at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, a Theater Maker from Philadelphia, and the founder of I AM THE INNER CITY, a project to show that the “inner city” is an incubator for greatness. His play is called, Township Safari, and it’s based on the experience he had while touring in Langa, a township just outside of Cape Town. The piece includes some of the drama students from the University of Cape Town, where Wilder is studying. The hope is for the piece to reach people in Cape Town and in America. Please show your support for Josh and his show. Read more about Township Safari and their fundraising efforts by clicking here.
I’d say that the most interesting local attraction here in Pietermaritzburg is the Tathum Art Gallery that’s right in town. It’s about a 10-15 minute ride from campus in a Kombi bus. My encounter with the art gallery really started when I decide to feel adventurous during registration week, and register to take art history. I never took an art history course back in the US, nor did I pay a lot attention to fine art. After visiting the Tathum, I don’t know why I didn’t appreciate fine art more. The Tathum Art Gallery consists of various arts and crafts of the artists from Pietermaritzburg and from neighboring provinces. The works of craft in this museum are very different from the kinds I’ve seen in New York, in places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art . One piece that was most memorable to me was titled Chandelier; the work hung in the Contemporary craft exhibit at the Tathum. The materials it was made out of were beads, wire, and waste material. The use of lighting, with a great mix of colors, made it look like a chandelier you’d see in a house on a tropical island. This work hangs at the entrance to the gallery and does a great job of inviting visitors. In town, the Tathum Art Gallery is not openly visible. It is a local attraction that is quiet in its outer appearance to the public. In that sense; I think this art gallery overall shows that Pietermaritzburg is quiet on the surface but beautiful when you get to really explore it.