Hunger Count
Performance Art / Sun Gallery

A durational Performance Art Installation by Carin Bester.


Hunger is a daily struggle experienced all over the world, and it remains an immense problem in South Africa. According to GHS 2023, by Stats SA 2,566 million households experienced hunger in 2023. Approximately 9,325 million people are vulnerable to hunger.


Studies have shown that enough food is produced to feed 1.5 x the world population. In South Africa enough food is produced to feed all its people, yet food poverty at household level is widening. High unemployment, the ongoing energy crises and the constant increase of food prices are only some of the reasons we have food insecurity in South Africa.


The question we must ask then is, why are so many people going hungry while others waste food? Much of the waste is generated at a large scale, about one third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. Approximately 50% of this food loss takes place during harvesting. Processing, packaging, distribution, and retail account for a further 45% of wasted food. The remaining 5% of food waste is the responsibility of consumers (WWF Surplus Food Report 2018). However, many of us are guilty of buying food we never eat. Fresh produce is left till it’s spoiled and then simply thrown away, while others must make do with bare minimum if anything at all.


The aim of Hunger Count is to create awareness around food insecurity in SA, by creating a visual representation of these statistics. This will be done by counting 25 660 beans (1% of the 2.566 million households going hungry) each day, over 10 days of the festival. Resulting in 256 600 beans (10%) counted. They will be displayed in numbered heaps each representing various statistics of food insecurity in South Africa. 


This however is not the only aim; artist Carin Bester asks herself and the viewer to honestly reflect on our own habits when it comes to food and food waste and to look at ways in which we can all be less wasteful and kinder to others. Individually and as big corporations.


Fighting hunger is everyone’s responsibility, and to help those in need we have joined FOOD 4 FUTURES in a fund-raising campaign running for the duration of the festival.


If we can get 50 people a day to donate R120 (or any part thereof) for 10 days, we will manage to raise R60 000 (the equivalent of 500 food parcels). Donations can be made from anywhere in the world via the Back-a-buddy link and people can follow the progress of the performance and donations via Back-a-Buddy or on Instagram.





Artist Biography

Carin Bester is a multimedia performance artist, actress, activist, set designer and curator based in Cape Town.


Carin was first drawn to Performance Art in 2015, because of its immediacy and honesty, viewing it as a medium to express herself freely and interrogate socio-political issues effectively. Bester’s multi-media practice often incorporates elements of durational-art. Such as the award nominated “She had a name 365” which was a yearlong performance, highlighting femicide in South Africa. Her performance work has been seen in various galleries, art festivals and public spaces throughout South Africa.


As a performer her work is mostly used as a tool to create dialogue around important issues faced by society, with the same impetus she now curates, multimedia exhibitions and live art experiences. Focussing on art as activism and activism as art. 


As an activist her main focus has been around oppression of womxn, children and the LGBTQIA+ community. She often highlights gender-based violence; the varying degrees of oppression enforced on the femme body; and the communal and personal fight against the toxicity imbued by a dominant patriarchal system. She uses her performances to raise awareness of these and other issues in their various manifestations.



Food4Futures is a Makhanda-based NPO, with its primary focus being on hunger alleviation, although they do address other areas of need as well.


They supply food parcels to families who are unable to adequately feed themselves. Each parcel costs approximately R120 to make up. They also introduced three new sub-projects – Parking4Parcels, Care4Community, and IDs4Independance.


The Parking4Parcels initiative provides a way for the public to help those in need as they go about their daily lives by giving them a mini parcel ticket, which can be redeemed at their premises.

A recipient of a P4P ticket is able to collect multiple tickets of various values and redeem them for larger parcels of the total value, or a combination of small parcels.


Food4Futures provides consistent and on-going help to over 1000 people in various ways, with food parcels, sandwiches, supplementary food packs for school children, special attention to those with mobility difficulties, procuring ID documents, SASSA related queries and advice, free distribution of second-hand clothes, shoes, bedding, and household goods donated to F4F for that purpose.


F4F believes that everyone deserves to find dignity, empathy, helpfulness, and kindness in their interactions with them.


For more information about F4F please visit their website


Registered Non Profit Organisation  240-644

Registered Public Benefit Orgisation 930079865 (with SARS Section 18A tax benefits)

  • Sun Gallery
  • Monument Building
  • Daily during the Festival 09:00 to 17:00
  • Daily entry to the exhibitions is free. The scheduled walkabouts have a minimal cost and booking is essential.