UCT students: express yourself at Res4Res

06 September 2021 | Story Supplied. Read time 7 min.
Res4Res 2021 is committed to providing a platform for students to showcase their artistic abilities and to further develop their unique voices. Res4Res 2021: It&rsquo;s virtual.<strong> Photo</strong> <a href="https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-in-white-long-sleeve-shirt-using-macbook-pro-5076517/" target="_blank">cottonbro/Pexels</a>.
Res4Res 2021 is committed to providing a platform for students to showcase their artistic abilities and to further develop their unique voices. Res4Res 2021: It’s virtual. Photo cottonbro/Pexels.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Res4Res festival, one of the highlights on the residence calendar, is back, better than ever and will take place online for the second year in a row.

UCT residence students, as well as all other UCT registered students, are invited to submit creative works in response to this year’s theme, “Isolation: ‘I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.’ – Hamlet (II.ii)”. The aim of the festival is to provide a space for all UCT students, regardless of degree choice or location, to express their creativity and join the Res4Res community.

The festival will take place on Vula, and through the Res4Res social media accounts (Instagram and Facebook).

Expressive voice

In the past, student playwrights, directors and actors have collaborated to produce plays based on a theme. These plays were performed at the Baxter Theatre, over several days, with tickets being sold to students and members of the public. Res4Res gave students the opportunity to perform their productions in a professional theatre environment, and to challenge themselves creatively.

In 2020 Frank Karigambe and Sean Abrahams from UCT’s Residence Life Division worked with the Res4Res creative team to re‑imagine the festival for the first‑ever virtual offering that enjoyed a record number of participants, higher than the face‑to‑face offering. The 2020 theme was “Your Silence Will Not Protect You”.


“It was so wonderful to witness the immense creative talent UCT students have.”

“Last year, the Res4Res festival took on the challenge of moving to an online space, which brought about new categories in which students could enter. It was so wonderful to witness the immense creative talent UCT students have, including their writing, film-making and acting skills,” said 2020 creative director, Kanya Viljoen.

“I think what makes Res4Res such an important and successful project in the university space is the expressive voice it allows and encourages in students. It allows all of us, both student and audience, to articulate the ever‑changing world around us.”

2020 Visual Arts category winner, “Thoughts” by Reatlegile Malatji; 2020 Written category winner, “Your Silence Will Not Protect You” by Thobile Mahlangu (part 2 of 2); and Video Performance category winning submission, by Hope Banda.

The 2020 virtual Res4Res festival was also more inclusive than before, giving students the opportunity to be creative in their own, unscripted way. This resulted in a higher number of participants than was the case with the face-to-face Res4Res festivals in previous years. The winning artworks of Res4Res 2020 were created by three remarkable women.

Art is vital

In 2021 Res4Res is looking to expand its reach to all of the student body, encouraging more people to tap into their inner artist. The categories this year are Visual Arts, Video Performance, and Writing, all centring around the theme of “Isolation”. The categories are by no means restrictive, allowing students with a variety of interests to think outside the box, creating artworks from animations, to poetry, to comics, and everything in between. Much like last year, all first draft submissions will be given feedback and students can submit a final draft for judging.

Res4Res 2021 creative director, Andi Colombo, explained that students will be guided in their ventures into artmaking through ‘How To’ videos created by trailblazing industry professionals. These include artists such as writers Buhle Ngaba, Veronique Jephtas, and Terence Makapan; content creators Zoey Black, Gabe Gabriel, and Naledi Majola; and artists Ntobeko Ximba, Francesco Nassimbeni and Yonela Makoba”.


“Art is, after all, about communication of an idea.”

This year’s judges are Veronique Jephtas, Naledi Majola and Francesco Nassimbeni.

“The challenge of creating works virtually may give rise to new and innovative artworks and ways of approaching art, which, in my opinion, creates space for growth and change,” said Colombo.

“Art is, after all, about communication of an idea. And in a time where we are connected but disconnected, I believe that Res4Res can be a moment of re‑establishing and building networks between people.”

Festival co-coordinator and administrator, Kathleen Stephens, agrees: “What’s beautiful about the Res4Res festival this year is that it opens itself up not only to drama students, but to the broader UCT community, which allows an opportunity for those who want to express themselves and have a need to create, to have an outlet during these difficult times.”

“In this time of deep uncertainty, the Res4Res team believes that art is a vital way to navigate, process and express ourselves,” concluded Colombo.

Further information

To register, please fill in this Google Form by Tuesday, 7 September 2021.

The guidelines for these categories are as follows: 

  1. Visual: Students can submit up to three original images that are related to the theme. These images can be in any medium, including poster design, costume design, set design, photography, sketches and digital art, for example. The submission needs to be in a PNG, JPEG or PDF format. So, should you choose to hand draw your submission, photograph or scan it, and submit it to the festival.
  2. Video: Students can submit a one‑ to five-minute, original video of a performance. This includes a performance of a monologue, dialogue, a poem, a dance, a rap, spoken word, songs or puppetry, for example. Really anything! TikToks will also be accepted, on the condition that it’s the student’s original work. The submission needs to be in a video format.
  3. Written: Students can submit one page (maximum 500 – 750 words) of original performative writing. This includes poetry, monologues, scene descriptions and dialogue, for example. The submission can be in Word, PDF or photographed format. So, should you want to hand write your entry, photograph and send it – this is allowed as long as the writing is legible.

All of these submissions must be in relation and response to the Res4Res theme, “Isolation”.

The following rules will apply to all of the submissions: 

  • All work needs to be originally created by students. Therefore, you cannot use a poem or monologue from a published or performed play. The emphasis is on creating your own work. That said, we are aware that art frequently exists in conversation with, or as a reference to, other artworks, and students are allowed to adapt and create from a point of conversation to other work on the condition that these other artworks or sources are credited in an artistic statement or credits.
  • All work needs to be in relation and response to the Res4Res theme: “Isolation: ‘I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams’ - Hamlet (Act 2 Scene 2)”. The theme will be explained in more detail in a video by creative director Andi Colombo.
  • Only students studying at UCT in 2021 can submit work.
  • Students can submit more than one artwork in each category and can also submit in various categories.
  • Students can collaborate with each other. For example, if one student wants to write a poem and another wants to perform and record it, that would be allowed. Performances, writing and art pieces can also happen in groups, as long as students work safely with one another, and follow COVID‑19 guidelines for health and safety.
  • No submissions will be accepted after the submission deadline.
  • All submissions will be shared on the Res4Res social media sites and will remain on these sites in perpetuity unless a student expressly communicates via writing that they would like their submission removed after the 2021 festival has closed.

For more information, email res4resuct@gmail.com.

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