Afrikaans Taal Monument celebrates 40 years with festival

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28 Sep 2015

The Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en -monument (ATM) turns forty on Saturday 10 October and everyone is invited to join the party. The theme is 40 years young, 40 years old. A free Birthday Festival will be held from 10:00 to 15:00 in a big tent at the monument. An exciting programme includes live music, a torch run, traditional food stalls and children’s activities as well as the opening of two new exhibitions.

Ivan Botha and Donnalee Roberts, well-known for their “Pad na jou hart” movie, will be the MC’s. Performances by artists include “klopse” (Cape minstrels), “rieldans” (the Boland Vastrappers), the award-winning local men’s choir Adagio and the musicians Willim Welsyn and Ryno Velvet.

A highlight is the launch of “Groen: Tuin van Digters” (Green: Garden of Poets) at 13:15. The poet Marius Titus will read his poem, one of 12 poems that will be on display in the monument garden for six months. This exhibition includes poems by Breyten Breytenbach, Adam Small, Carina Stander, Johan Lodewyk Marais, Louis Esterhuizen, Marlise Joubert, Marius Titus, Diana Ferrus, Stef Bos, Hemelbesem, Clinton V du Plessis en Koos Kombuis. It is presented in collaboration with the Breytenbach Centre in Wellington.

A cannon firing will take place in the Garden Theatre at 12:00, with four shots in celebration of the forty decades. A member of the public, who answers a question correctly, will have the opportunity to fire the cannon. This is preceded by a talk about the history of cannons at 11:30 (in English) and at 11:45 (in Afrikaans).

At 12:20 the Voortrekkers’ torch carriers will arrive via a 8km route from the Taalmuseum in Pastorie Avenue, followed by the lighting of the big torch inside the Visitor Centre, accompanied by a talk about the new exhibition in this centre.

“We are very excited – this is the first ever permanent exhibition to be hosted at the Taalmonument. The first phase of the exhibition focuses on the building and symbolism of the monument, as well as on Afrikaans in global perspective,” says Jack Louw, Director of the ATM.

Other activities include the handing over of 100 Afrikaans messages by Kraal Uitgewers, the launch of the documentary “Die Wonder van ‘n nuwe taal in Afrika” (at 11:00 in the Conference Room), the handing over of an Afrikaans rose by the FAK, as well as the launch of Paarl’s new Tree Route (which starts at the Taalmonument).

Entrance is free. No booking is required. For enquiries, call 021 863 4809/0543/2 or send an e-mail to