Eastern Cape From Above (ECFA), the four year old photographic exhibition of the province’s most spectacular landscapes, opened at Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow in late September.
The Scottish city becomes the 12th city after a successful tour across Europe which included Portugal, Belgium, Sweden, France and Germany.
The exhibition, showcasing 40 Eastern Cape destinations, runs until February 2012 in the city, which has close ties to South Africa and the Eastern Cape.
The Glasgow Missionaries Society established the legendary Lovedale College in Alice, one of the first missionary learning institutions in the Eastern Cape. Its alumni include political activists Govan Mbeki and Steve Biko. Its subsidiary, Lovedale Press published the works of well-known African writers such as Olive Schreiner, JM Coetzee, Zakes Mda and Nobel Prize for literature laureate, Nadine Gordimer.
It appears that the beauty of the province still resonates with the Glasglowians. The exhibition in Glasgow is attracting rave reviews, according to Fiona Crichton from the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre: “We have had very complimentary feedback and indeed lots of interest. The images look fantastic.”
The Scottish exhibition follows a successful run in Bristol where Jesse Stone, coordinator for this leg, hailed its success.
“The exhibition had gone really well with about 5,000 postcards being snapped up each day. Everyone who has spoken to me has really enjoyed it. Some seemed keen to visit the Eastern Cape because of it.”
This is exciting news for ECDC special projects manager Pierre Leppan who says that “the United Kingdom leg of the exhibition is part of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation’s (ECDC) plan to promote the province as a tourist and business destination”.
He says that although tourism and trade between the two countries remains strong, there is room for growth.
“EC From Above (ECFA) dispels myths and distorted perceptions of the Eastern Cape province as a destination exclusively suited for travellers with an appetite for adventure. It shows the full spectrum of what the province has to offer,” Pierre says.
ECFA gives viewers a sneak peek into some of Eastern Cape’s iconic tourism destinations such as the Hole-In-the-Wall in the Wild Coast. Other locations profiled include the Wild Coast, an adventurer’s paradise and game reserves such as Addo Elephant Park which hosts the big seven (The big five plus the southern right whale and great white shark) as well as more cosmopolitan offerings like the Blue Flag beaches and the night life in Port Elizabeth, East London and St Francis Bay.
In London, the ECFA exhibition at Gabriel’s Warf at the Riverside Walkway on the south bank of Thames River is also attracting exciting feedback says London landlord Deborah Crowhurst.
“The stand is being mobbed with people looking at the stands, taking photos of them as well as their photos with the stands as well as picking up postcards,” explains Deborah.
The exhibition in London ran until 10 October 2011.