Water has been at the forefront of public awareness in recent years. Water is life and the importance of active awareness around this precious resource has been made all the more urgent in the Western Cape due to drought and water shortages, most notably in the Mother City of Cape Town.
This year’s giant puppet parade in the quirky Klein Karoo town of Barrydale, celebrates and reclaims the power, mythologies and awareness of the local River, the Klein Huis Rivier that runs through the Tradouw valley, and its age old significance to the people and animals of this scenic, fertile part of the Langeberg. It raises the plight of the highly endangered Redfin Minnow, a unique fynbos fish that is only found in the Barrydale region and which is fast disappearing. Professor Jane Taylor, Andrew W Mellon Chair of Aesthetic Theory and Material Performance at the Centre for Humanities Research says ‘it is well known how wasteful and irrational planning and economic practices of the Apartheid State had a profound impact on the communities compelled to live in divided racially-defined spaces. What is increasingly evident is the environmental impact of these policies.’
Bringing awareness to the way water has been used and abused in dividing and separating the community and people itself, this production asks us to reconsider our own relationships to water, to come together to save the Redfin Fish and to celebrate the streams and rivers that connect us all.