DCAS takes Social Cohesion Conversations, Writers Workshop to Khayelitsha
The role of arts culture and the true value of writing and reading were the focus at Harare Library in Khayelitsha on Friday, 19 February 2021, as the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport hosted two separate events.
The first saw a cross section of several communities take part in one of a series of Social Cohesion Community Conversations, with the role of arts and culture set as the topic.
According to the National Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, social cohesion refers to the “degree of social integration and inclusion in communities and society at large, and the extent to which mutual solidarity finds expression itself among individuals and communities”.
Attendees at Friday’s Conversation discussed the challenges arts and culture creatives have faced and continue to face in a world that has been much changed by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
The community members agreed that arts and culture programmes deliver therapeutic benefits and that there should be strategies that promote holistic well-being at the individual and community level. They said one of the ways to strengthen community cohesion and feelings of belonging are through implementing cultural and art programs. Arts and culture can bring people together through shared experiences.
The next event was an Emerging Writer Workshop, which aimed to help develop a culture of writing and reading amongst participants.
The workshop began with an explanation on the “nature of writing”, followed by a discussion on the “grammar standard of written language” and then a presentation on the “different genres of writing”.
Attendees were taught that writing is an important way to preserve and keeping record of past events. The participants were also given a chance to write their own personal stories on a topic, before swapping stories with another participant and finally discussing each other’s stories with the entire group.