Henriette Loubser

Editor-in-Chief, Netwerk24

Pandemic or not, the arts need to be celebrated! After all, artists are some of the most creative souls of society, and one thing our current situation has imprinted on us is that we need to think outside of the box. One way or the other, we have all been jolted from our comfort zones.

 The arts exist within a zeitgeist and therefore, this year especially, it will be interesting to see what the creators bring to the table. Through books, music, artworks, and other art forms, society makes sense of its “journey”: Where do we find ourselves and who or what are we exactly? Which emotions and questions make us turn and toss? What makes us laugh, and what makes us bitter? Where are our shortcomings, and which blind spots and prejudices do we need to re-examine?

 On the one hand, art is a mirror occasionally confronting us with uncomfortable sensations. On the other hand, it proves a unique opportunity to enter into conversation with ourselves and each other – in ways which are not always possible using conventional conversations.
 At Netwerk24 we are particularly excited by the Snelstroom online offerings that we will be part of. The successes of 2020, which even led to nominations for the kykNET Fiësta and Naledi awards, have shown us that this new model for festivities is in line with our constant work towards a new model for the media.

 The Free State and Northern Cape are important regions for Netwerk24 readers. We employ a vigilant editorial team in the region to provide Volksblad with news copy, to keep us at the forefront of the news realm, and to ensure that the digital newspaper is just as enthralling as the printed format was. By supporting the Vrystaat Arts Festival, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to the region and its people. We are looking forward to joining you in celebrating the festivities!