The International Public Art Festival is an annual mural art festival that brings together street artists to create murals in Salt River, Cape Town.
The festival is organized by local NPO BAZ-ART, which recognizes how public art intersects with a variety of positive outcomes in communities. The organisation seeks to engage entire communities to create social cohesion and effect social transformation, as well as provide exposure and support for street artists. BAZ-ART supports all styles and forms of public art expression from graffiti to finger painting.
Launched in 2017, the International Public Art Festival commissions murals from an international list of artists that remain up in the neighbourhood for a two-year period. The theme for the 2020 festival is Digitalisation and will take place from 8-16 February. The selected artists embody a diverse and culturally rich group from varied levels of experience and interests in their artistry. The theme sets out to positively engage with the digital world, creating dialogue around the influence of digital applications, algorithms and data. The theme aims to create awareness about the opportunities and responsibilities that come with the digital revolution.
In addition to the commissioning of new public artworks, the festival also includes street art tours and spray can workshops for the public and local school learners. Artists also create murals with school children, teaching basic techniques and skills.
Swiss artist Gilles Dusabe has been invited to participate in this year’s event. Working between Kigali, Rwanda and Geneva, Switzerland, Gilles’ work addresses cultural, social and political issues such as personal freedom, social justice, equity or human rights. Gilles is inspired by his wide travels and attentive observations of the present, making him sensitive to the realities shaping different contexts. In Cape Town, Gilles plans to photograph local people that he meets and encounters, and use these images as source material for paintings on walls in the area of the festival.