Heartbreaking South Africa

by Joke Debaere

As I am writing this HA!News, I am overlooking some virginal white houses in the centre of Stellenbosch. Francois and I are here for some days, to indulge in a wide variety of South African performances on the “Woordfees”.

During the day we work behind our laptops, to prepare all the necessary things for our coming performances. After a morning walk just earlier, I entered the room joking “How can people actually ever work in Stellenbosch?” For a foreigner like me, the town’s architecture and surrounding simply feels too seductive to get my eyes of it, focusing on the screen again. Especially when you see tramps digging deep into the dust bins for a little bits of food, while the middle and upper class people around swirl further in an elegant looking way of greeting each other, meeting for drinks and for supper, and buy or sell all sorts of African art.

I arrived here last Friday and the performance we had so far was, to be honest, quite promising. I was reminded again after being in my hometown (Kortrijk, Belgium) for two months, how special it is to feel like a pioneer of some sort, planting some creative seeds in collaboration with local people. Francois has finished his series of nine brand new cd’s, soon out for sale, and I have finished the artwork for the covers. From this month on, we are also selling a cd with my Dutch poems on it (“Mijn weg in jouw ogen”) and an accompanying book with the texts in it.

South Africa makes me feel silent, as usual. Time and time again, the many contrasts and colors fill my heart like a fountain, drip by drip. Waiting until it spoils over again in words, sounds and lines. As I saw this rainbow, biking through Upington, I took a picture of it and thought, “heartbreaking.”

For now, that is the word to describe all of it. I sincerely hope you will enjoy our new products, right now or in time.

And many thanks to all of you who have been supportive of our art along the way.


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