young artists - any art form - one mic

Monday, September 20, 2010

Q&A with Lukhanyo

ES: Who are your artistic influences?
My influence stems from our people's will to fight and survive in a world that hell bent to enslave and kill them.

ES: What have you learnt from filmmakers who have come before you?
L: I've learnt that if we don't write our own history, we get written out of history. I've learnt also that filmmaking is a painstaking process and that you need lots of patience and a bit of luck to complete a project.

ES: What do you hope to achieve each time you set out to make a film?
L: I think my objective with this film and any other film is always the same. To allow the people involved to tell their stories and for me to be the medium that accurately carries that story to its audience in a manner that befits the dignity and stature of the person/people involved.

ES: What motivates you to keep working when things become difficult and challenging?
L: The true and honest belief that each story is as important to tell as any other because every story/film is an opportunity for me/us to learn something new about ourselves. Also the fear of failure is a great motivator

ES: If there’s one boundary or misconception you could knock down about filmmaking or being a filmmaker, what would it be?
L: I’d like to bomb the boundary/perception that states that filmmaking is the craft of a select and privileged few.

Lukhanyo Calata - filmmaker

My name is Lukhanyo Calata. I've been working as a journalist for roughly six years now and three of those I spent working as a television reporter. It’s been a dream of mine to tell stories and to make films about our history as South Africans: who we are, where we come from and where we are going. My interest in journalism and film comes from a young age as it stems from my need to find and document the truth behind the murder of my father, Fort Calata, and three of his friends and comrades: Matthew Goniwe, Sparrow Mkhonto and Sicelo Mhlauli, in June 1985. The four men became known as the Cradock 4.

That event has shaped my life and heavily influences my work and how I perceive our past, present and future. South Africa’s liberation from Apartheid was bought at a heavy price - so many people sacrificed and gave up their lives so we can enjoy the relative freedoms we have today. Through my films I hope to highlight the often forgotten role/s of these individuals and communities in our struggle and to remind people of the sacrifices made not only by OR Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Fort Calata or even Matthew Goniwe. But that out struggle was a collective effort and that we must make sure that our present and our future must continue to be a collective effort.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Q&A with Carly

ES: Who are your artistic influences?
My influences range from quotes I have heard or lines in a song that may have just struck a chord. Most of my poetry has a quote from somewhere that I use as inspiration for what I was feeling at the time. Words influence me; beautifully phrased and understandable words. When something I read or hear impacts me deeply, I tend to use it so as to inspire what is going on within me. Therefore I don’t have any one person that has influenced my writing; I am influenced by many, by myself and by my experiences.

ES: What have you learnt from poets who have come before you?
I believe that words whether written, sung, randomly spoken or rehearsed can alter reality and shift paradigms. I have learnt from poets before me that words can heal the wounds, words can connect you to God, and words can bring chaos as well as order. I have learnt that my poetry doesn’t have to make sense to anybody, but me. I have learnt that writing keeps you connected to who you are; the side that you show and the side that you don’t become one, when you put your soul on paper.

ES: What do you hope to achieve with your poetry?
C: Poetry is a form of self-expression; I hope to achieve just that. I wish to share those parts of me that are hidden, but that do define me. I want to encourage that kind of sharing; it’s when we give a part of ourselves and don’t expect anything back. We just desire to be heard and accepted. For now, this is all I wish to achieve.

ES: What motivates you to keep working on your poetry, when things become difficult and challenging?
C: I've realised that journaling; a form of staying in touch with those inner thoughts, is very important when things become difficult; as it still keeps me connected to what’s going on inside of me. My journaling takes on the form of “letters to God” where I write to Him and in some cases, I write a response from Him. This has assisted me tremendously as it keeps me writing, and not for the purpose of writing a poem; but for the purpose of reflection on life. There are many times when I don’t have the words to express what I’m feeling and thinking, writing to God helps me with that. It’s when I do know what I am feeling and thinking, the words come alive in the form of poetry.

ES: If there’s one boundary or misconception you could knock down about poetry and being a poet, what would it be?
We are all poets. We all use words to express ourselves; whether sung, spoken, in thought or acted out. All these stem from our desire to communicate; poetry stems from the desire to communicate with oneself. We yearn to understand where we are, who we are and why we are, and we desire to share that understanding with others. Some people are more eloquent, some are more dramatic, some are easily understood and some need a bit more time to make things clearer. Whatever the case or whoever the person, we are all poets; authors of our own lives. Words help us make sense of who we are and where we are, some people just realise why they are, through the sharing of their poetry.

Carly Wilson - poet

My name is Carly Wilson and I am currently studying a Degree in Theology at Cornerstone Institute; which focuses on Community Leadership and my major is Christian Ministry.

I started writing in high school and one of my poems (a Haiku; which was an exercise in English Class) was published in the school’s magazine, and this encouraged me to continue putting my feelings, thoughts and emotions on paper. I only shared my poetry with my best friends and even up until recently, only those really close to me know that I express myself in this way.

During my darkest period is when my poetry took on a life of its own. My writing changed, what I wrote about changed, how I saw my life and the world changed. All this became clear to me as I wrote myself to life on the pages of a journal where in reality I was dying. I held on to myself, my dreams, my soul and my God through my poetry. After every experience and to make sense of every emotion, I wrote. It was through my poetry that I expressed emotion; when in reality I used drugs to suppress them.

I never in my wildest dreams thought about sharing any of my poetry with anyone. I write for myself; to understand myself, to get to know myself, to continuously remind myself of why I am and who I am. I write because most of the time, the words are so deep within me that I struggle to verbalise them, they come out on paper before they can make sense coming from my mouth.

My writing has always been a part of me and I never realised how much this part has contributed to my healing, until now. Through my rebellion, through my depression, through my anger, and now through my reflection, my writing has restored my relationship with myself and with my God.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Q&A with Janis

ES: Who are your artistic influences?

J: My greatest artistic influences are my teachers from National School of the Arts where I used to attend, Ruby (a close family friend/ neighbour) Vincent Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, George Pemba and many more. I'm also inspired by my friends and the impressionist movement.

ES: What have you learnt from past artists in your field?

J: Not only have I have learned to re-examine how I view the world and express that through my art but I've learnt everything I know really from past artist as any artist will tell you, you can't learn without observing others and constantly working at improving, discovering and exploring new aspects of your art.

ES: How do you see your career as an artist developing?

J: Well I've recently applied to Michaelis, I hope to study fine art there and one day I wish to become an art teacher or an art therapist for disabled children, I also see myself as a published artist creating inspirational and thought provoking pieces which evoke positive changes in society.

ES: What motivates you to keep working on your art, when things become difficult and challenging?

J: Well usually it's my visual art teacher whipping me into action, but mostly it's the thought of the final product or a sudden idea or inspiration after much thought and evaluation that makes it impossible not to try out or explore. Also I have really special and supportive friends, family and neighbours who keep me excited and motivated.

ES: If there's one boundary or misconception you could knock down about being a visual artist, what would it be?

J: A misconception which has always followed me is that artists are lazy and disorganised and that they just mess around with paint all day but in actual fact being a good and relevant artist takes a lot of hard work, observation and thought.

Janis Munnich - visual artist

I am originally Cape Town born but I was raised in Yeoville, Johannesburg. My love for art started at a young age when my friends and I started drawing cartoons and having small contests to see who was best. I then learnt about a range of different artists and I felt inspired enough to pursue my new love by applying to The National School of the Arts. I completed grades 8-10 there, learning techniques in sculpture, drawing, painting, print-making, ceramics, jewellery design, photography and different design mediums.

At the end of 2008 my family and I moved to Cape Town where I was unable to attend a specialised art school as I had done in Jo'burg. To make up for this I started attending Frank Joubert Art Centre to do visual art as an 8th subject.

Art has always been part of my life and I've always been known as the "artist" or the "oddball" in the family and renowned for noticing the strangest of things.

My family have always done their utmost to support me and usually that's just giving me space, peace, making me endless cups of coffee and giving me words of motivation at early hours of the morning to keep me going. Friends and other young aspiring artists have also been a huge help to my development as an artist because they are always there to give me criticism or help develop a concept when I need it.
The people who surround me - other artists, musicians, writers, poets and my amazing friends- as well as the artistic environments I've always been in have made me who I am and by default have shaped my art.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Q&A with Katherine

ES: Who are your artistic influences?

K: It’s very hard to say. Musically my influences come from many directions. It would be a person, and experience, a conversation or anything that I allow to affect my day. This is my greatest influence to write music.

ES: What have you learnt from past artists in your field?

K: To never give up, to believe in my talent and know that what I have, no one else can possess. I have learnt about team work, communication, networking and just how to show my greatness by being true to myself. I know it's deep but it's true. If I can say, one thing that I have learnt from myself as an artist is that being present in a moment is the best way to bring across what I want people to know and see about me.

ES: What do you hope to achieve in your music and singing career?

K: It can be as small as having people listen and appreciate what I give out and as big as national and even international recognition.

Creating a buzz of "give us more"

ES: What motivates you to keep working on your art, when things become difficult and challenging?

K: My biggest motivation is my belief in myself. and yes at times this does become weak, but I push through. I remind myself of how wonderful it feel to be on stage and the amazing response from the crowd, and that just keeps me going.

ES: If there's one boundary or misconception you could knock down about being a singer and musician, what would it be?

K: I am not sure if this answers the question, but before I became a musician I used to idolise a group called Godessa. To me they were super-human and I adored them so much I couldn't even speak with them. It took me a while to realise that they are amazing individuals and that my perception of them being unapproachable was so wrong. Musicians are people to and no matter how famous or adored, they too have a story.

Katherine Traut - singer, songwriter

Katherine Traut. Singer, songwriter, recording artist and live performer, shares her love for music through her unique sound and interesting lyrics.

Her writing started many years ago when poetry was one of the ways through which she expressed herself. Not too long after finding her way with words, she pursued guitar so that she could find a suitable rhythm to fit her words of passion.

As a young girl, at the tender age of five, she performed her first solo performance singing for her entire school and from that moment, she knew that live performance was her greatest passion. Coming from a background where following her dreams was always encouraged, Katherine quickly discovered that whatever she put her mind to, she could accomplish with great success.

She has performed with the likes of Byron Clarke and Chad Saaiman from Stereo Type Records, Franki M, Micaelyn Traut and most recently shared the stage with EJ Von Lyrik who has been a part of SA’s all female Hip Hop group, Godessa. Ej as a solo artist has performed internationally with many top musicians from around the globe and is hitting Cape Town by storm.

Currently, Katherine has released her first single, “Sweetest Surrender,” which she composed and which features some of her guitar skills. Produced by Moeneeb Galant, the song is being played on Cape Town’s Heart 104.9fm and has reached the No. 2 spot on the SA TOP 10 chart.
To listen to Sweetest Surrender, visit Katherine's website.

She is working on a number of songs with various producers from Cape Town and is aiming to produce an album within the next year.
At every performance, whether it is big or small, Katherine strives to send a message of love and hope and plays with such passion that you’d always want more. She is determined to make a success of her passion by believing it’s possible and showing others that they can achieve their dreams!

For more information and bookings, email