What do the Sustainable Development Goals, Little Red Riding Hood and Sixty Minutes have in common? You need to attend the Kopanong Student Arts Festival at the University of Pretoria from the 22nd to the 27th and see Little Red Riding Hood and The Bad Metaphors, by Dr. Mike Van Graan artist in residence at the University of Pretoria Drama department to understand.

The play is a fairy-tale take on the future in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. It covers the 17 goals and 169 targets calling participants and the audience to take action towards addressing the 17 goals that must be achieved by the year 2030. Dr. Van Graan wrote the play in order to educate audiences and raise awareness on the importance of the SDG’s in the simplest possible way. The play is a catalyst toward conscientizing and educating audiences in a theatrical way. The play takes you on a journey where in the future poverty is eradicated, there is no hunger, climate change is reversed and violence against women is not heard of. The production won a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda.

Dr. Van Graan is one of South Africa’s most celebrated playwrights and recipient of many national and international awards in the creative arts. He is currently appointed by the University of Pretoria’s drama department as an artist in residence under the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The program is led by the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities Faculty, Professor Vasu Reddy and the Vice-Dean Professor Maxi Schoeman.

Dr. Mike Van Graan also has hosted a series of public lectures at Future Africa that challenge the role of the arts and culture in elements of social life such as development (SDG’s, Agenda 2063, NDP’s), human rights, the economy and systems of governance and the judiciary. The next presentation in the seminar series is titled: “Culture, Democracy, and Governance in Africa: Towards an understanding of the impact of culture on governance in Africa”. This will take place on Tuesday 23 July from 16:00 to 18:00 at Future African Campus.