Open City’s 15-day takeover showcases the best of Jozi’s art and culture scene

Open City, presented by FNB Art Joburg, will open up the city with 15+ days of art, music, performance, food and fashion across the city from 25 August to 9 September.

FILE: Art from the Afropolis exhibition by Cameroonian historian and political theorist Ashil Mbembe and the book Johannesburg by South African associate professor of literature and cultural studies Sarah Natal. Photo: Included.

JOHANNESBURG – Johannesburg’s arts and culture scene will come alive for the next two weeks, starting on Thursday.

Open City – presented by FNB Art Joburg will open up Johannesburg with 15 days of art, music, performance, food and fashion from 25 August to 9 September.

“Open City was born out of Covid-19 as a response to how we can interact with the communities around Joburg. We are very excited to return to the communities this year with a new line-up. It’s really exciting because we’ve created different hubs for people to navigate over the weekend,” said FNB Art Joburg director Mandla Sibeka.

Open City centers include Rosebank and surrounds, Braamfontein, Newtown, Soweto, Joburg City Center and 44 Stanley.

“It’s about a collaboration between the arts, music, film, food and fashion industries to usher in spring in Johannesburg. Most of all for us at FNB Art Joburg, it is an educational tool and a way to coordinate the cultural landscape into the city.

“Johannesburg, which is the cultural capital of the continent, needs such an organization. 15+ Days is truly the best cultural talent to be found in Johannesburg,” Sibeka said.

FNB Art Joburg said they hope it will encourage visitors and residents to immerse themselves in Johannesburg’s rich and multi-faceted cultural offerings.


Jabulani Dhlamini’s personal exhibition “Remembering the past and the present” is one of the highlights of the Open City.

Dlamini’s work focuses on his upbringing while reflecting on the different communities in contemporary South Africa. His work reflects historical moments, such as the memory of the Sharpeville Massacre and the consequences of land dispossession.

Another suggestion is “Ophelia Backstroke” – an exhibition by Natalie Paneng. The digital artist explores contemporary clown theater to satirically interrogate how people navigate the virtual worlds they occupy. With this exhibition, Paneng aims to inspire and create a sense of fantasy regarding the black female body.

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