7am. In the Grahamstown rubbish dump, stilt-walker Richard Antrobus picks his way through old tyres, broken plastic and mud the colour of offal. Of all the places I thought I would find myself on a Saturday morning – in my entire life – this is quite possibly the very last. Richard is being trailed by a team of three Rhodes University TV students who are filming his antics in the dump as part of a series of twenty four one -minute documentaries on Grahamstown behind the scenes of the National Arts Festival.
The Festival breaks over the quiet town of Grahamstown from Sunday morning, saturating its streets with a downpour of strange characters presenting artwork and theatre ranging from disturbing Japanese butoh dancers and audience-created plays in Raiders of the Lost Aardvark, to outdoor performance, gallery exhibitions and a thousand bizarre pieces in between. I’m working on the Festival newspaper for the next fortnight as a photographer and occasional writer. In between catching up on sleep, or finding Red Bull to keep it at bay, expect some daily images from the day to pop up in this space for the bext fortnight. If you can’t attend the festival in person (and let’s face it – from the diverse and adventuresome parts of the world that you come from, that is to be expected), I’ll bring a little of the proceedings into your daily interwebs.