As is the case with many countries around the world, twenty-two years after South Africa’s first democratic election, there are still great disparities in wealth distribution and the application of human rights. South Africa’s well worn story of a divided history, ongoing problems of crushing poverty, lack of opportunities and wealth inequality can create low self-esteem in her young people who have little understanding of the dynamics of the past and present. Cultural activities such as music and theatre played decisive roles in South Africa’s Liberation Movement; today, they are needed for the new struggle for gender equality and poverty eradication.
Art Knows No Boundaries (AKNB) is an organisation created by artists from South Africa and the United Kingdom in 2012. It is based in Durban and run by community artists Lungile Dlamini and Marius Botha, with support from British-based artist Matthew Hahn. AKNB reaches out into communities and schools throughout the rural South Coast bringing a programme of drama, dance and music to areas that historically have not had access to these creative arts. AKNB has been warmly embraced by community leaders who say that it has brought hope back to communities devastated by drugs and poverty and has helped keep the youth out of trouble.
© Matthew Hahn 2020