Die opkoms, dinamika en betekenis van die Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees: 1995-2005
Thesis (DPhil (History))—University of Stellenbosch, 2005.
Funding for the Afrikaans arts before 1994 was greatly controlled by the National Party government through the four former provincial arts councils. With the political change in South Africa after 1994, the dismantling of the provincial arts councils and the perceived uncertainty of the future of Afrikaans in a post-apartheid South Africa, Afrikaans cultural festivals were conceived to serve as a refuge for the Afrikaans language. The first of these was the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK), piloted in April 1995 in Oudtshoorn. The KKNK has since changed every aspect of the Afrikaans arts. It has stimulated the establishment of other, similar festivals throughout the country, while becoming the bread and butter for aspiring and established artists alike. The festival lures thousands of visitors annually, providing Oudtshoorn with an indispensable economic injection. Despite the festival’s success, it has come under critique over the past 11 years for its perceived cultural exclusivity, and has been labelled as a mere “boerebasaar”. In addition, several interest groups vie for direct and indirect control of the festival, each staking their specific claim on the KKNK. This thesis provides a historical analysis of the origin and dynamics of the KKNK from 1995 to the present, while simultaneously comparing it to other so-called arts festivals. In addition, the nature of the festival is explored against the backdrop of various interest groups. The discussion concludes with a reflection on the significance of the festival.