What to Expect from the 5th Edition of the International Public Art Festival

The International Public Art Festival (IPAF) – one of Africa’s largest and most anticipated public arts festivals – will take place from 10-14 February 2021. Attracting top talent from South Africa and overseas, the fifth edition of the IPAF promises a dazzling array of captivating art installations.

The five-day event is hosted by Baz-Art, a street art platform that uses painted murals to create conversations and dialogues. “For this special fifth edition of the IPAF, our motto is: walk, run or cycle it! We have designed six tours of various lengths from 3km for our walking families up to 30km for our sportsmen and women”, says Baz-Art co-founder Alexandre Tilmans. Each itinerary has been carefully crafted so that you may discover the best street and public art pieces the city has to offer. The festival explores prominent neighbourhoods in Cape Town such as Salt River, Woodstock, East City District, City Bowl, the Waterfront Precinct and Sea Point through immersive guided or self-guided walking and cycling tours. Tilmans assures that the event will rigorously adhere to strict Covid-19 protocols to prioritise the safety of the public, participating creatives and the Baz-Art team. 

According to festival organiser Lauren Fletcher, “The IPAF showcases our homegrown talent such as Bazil BaxterElizabeth Kruger and Njabulo Hlophe and other exceptional street artists from overseas. Our focus is on family-friendly walking and cycling tours this year. These are a safe, exciting way to explore the city in a time when many are seeking new, novel ways to get out and about. Tours vary in length and include new and existing murals that paint a fascinating picture of Cape Town and Africa at large. Tour guides will be available should you wish to benefit from their profound professional knowledge. We will also be offering virtual tours for the first time to ensure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the art.”

Fletcher adds that there’s a strong focus on sustainability and promoting Cape Town as a creative force in the global arena. “We are proud to partner with the city to showcase Cape Town as an art and touristic hub. In keeping with our sustainability commitment, we’ve partnered with Viva con Agua, an NGO that promotes water and sanitation conservation. Our project will see seven local and international artists depict a health superhero through wall murals and comic books. These stories will educate children on the importance of preserving our precious resources, and foster an awareness for global issues around water, sanitation, and hygiene.”

Community is another major focus of the IPAF. The Salt River community is one of the main beneficiaries of the event. Nur Meyer, a Salt River resident and renowned gardener, says, “The art makes Salt River look and feel positive. The IPAF is great, it keeps the area alive and the community together. Everyone enjoys the art on the walls as it makes the area more interesting.” Mogamat Moosa Stellenboom, another Salt River resident who facilitates the IPAF’s logistics, adds, “The IPAF helps create more jobs for our young people and attracts tourists here. It gives us a chance to show people that there’s more to Salt River than meets the eye.”

Visit ipafest.co.za for more information.

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