Nomcebisi Moyikwa and Qhawe Vumase - Imilingo
Nomcebisi Moyikwa and Qhawe Vumase - Imilingo

From ghost tours to sentient beings, the ICA Live Art Festival is back in the flesh!

Now that we can attend in-person events once again, the Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) at UCT is hosting its flagship Live Art Festival (LAF) in the public spaces it is meant to serve. Our favourite biennial interdisciplinary event is back to disrupt and inspire! 

“Ghosts rupture time by reminding us of the unfaced, unrestituted and unresolved,” says performance artist Chanelle Adams of the part meditative journey, part ghost tour that she is scheduled to present at the 2022 ICA Live Art Festival (LAF).

This is just one of numerous live art performances that will play an integral part of the festival, which runs from 17 March until 3 April 2022 and is located at multiple, intriguing sites across the city, including the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

Like its counterparts on the programme, Adams’s performance Ghosts of Ravintsara/Camphor Trees has been created to challenge and extend the public’s experience of live art in a non-commercial environment. She describes the work as “an experiment in face-to-face encounters with ghosts… to release the future from historical horrors.”

The artists taking part in the 38 productions in this groundbreaking festival will explore new forms, flout aesthetic conventions, confront audiences and experiment with different perceptions.

Featured South African artists include Tracey Rose, Buhlebezwe Siwani, Rehane Abrahams, Phumulani Ntuli, Albert Khoza and Princess Mhlongo, Ilze Wolff, Ntone Edjabe, Qondiswa James and Gavin Krastin. Also appearing will be international artists such as nora chipaumire from New York/Harare, Eric Androa Mindre Kolo from Paris/Kinshasa, Syowia Kyambi from Nairobi, and from Yaoundé, Zora Snake and Christian Etongo.

Syowia Kyambi Kaspale
Syowia Kyambi
Asemahle Ntlonti Infecting The City
Asemahle Ntlonti
Infecting The City
Desire Marea
Desire Marea photo by Musa Dlamini
Nezimakade – Live at Alliance Française Ethekwini

Mthuthuzeli Zimba Nature vs Nurture
Mthuthuzeli Zimba
Nature vs Nurture

Now in its ninth year, this flagship festival from the ICA touches on everything from how water is connected to blackness, rituals and the ancestral realm, to queerness and ecological urgency. This year, it will touch particularly on the effects and after-effects of the pandemic.

The festival is a journey you won’t want to miss for the inspiration generated by its spellbinding, sometimes unsettling, always engaging subject matter.

“After the past two years in which the global arts community and its passionate audiences and consumers have largely lost access to cultural events such as these, it is a relief that we can once again experience these immersive artworks in person,” says Jay Pather, director of the ICA.

Pather says: “It is incredibly heart-warming that the concerts, art events and festivals we all relish for inspiration and enrichment can be enjoyed in person once again.”

The full ICA LAF programme can be viewed online here. Tickets are free but space is limited, so those who are interested are encouraged to book early. Bookings will open on 9 March 2022. For more information, please email: