Once again I extend my sincere appreciation for the travelling grant to South Africa for the Arterial Conference and World Summit. Being part of the two events opened my eyes and stretched the boundaries of my dreams. My appetite for knowledge was increased.
THE CONFERENCE :
The Arterial Conference was worth every minute I spent there. The papers that were presented were inspiring. The networking has changed the way I do things. I left my country thinking it was one of the few countries where the arts and culture were not appreciated only to discover that most African countries had the same problems. There are so many similarities between many African countries in terms of arts development. Sharing experiences with some of the people has seen me change my approach towards lobbying for arts policies in Zimbabwe. It was through this conference that the Zimbabwean delegation realized the need to have meetings and networks of our even when in Zimbabwe. This was a positive thing. The two events also gave me two months material for my arts column which I write for a national paper. The materials were drawn the topics, themes, and roundtable discussions that took place during the two events. This has been my own way of reporting back to my community. I have also done a formal report back to BAF members and shared with the literature I brought from the events.
Was mind changing to say the least. The papers, especially by Professor Ndebele, Joy Mboya of Kenya, the woman from Palestine (Iman Aoun), The Jamaican minister of education made me see the possibilities of cultural diversity. Zimbabwe is a country of many tribes and yet cultural diversity is an un-easy subject to deal with. The conference opened my eyes and now know there different ways to approach cultural diversity. It was also an experience watching some of the performances and visiting the Maropeng Heritage Site.
I am already in contact with a number of people I met at the summit and arterial conference. In Zimbabwe we have teamed with an artist from Harare to do a collaboration of a thirty minute HIV and AIDS play to take to the HIV and Aids conference at WITS in November. It was through the summit that we negotiated a slot for a performance at this conference. We are also now in talks with the Palestinian woman for a number collaborations, starting with her GAZA Monologues. I am still trying to talk other artists I met at the summit for possible collaborations. During the two events I was able to meet the Festival Director of Grahamstown Festival and there is a possibility I may take a play there in 2010.
Grant Year : 2009
Participation in the 2nd Arterial Network Conference and the 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture.
Type of Project
Departure : Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (Southern Africa)
Destination : Jo’burg, South Africa (Southern Africa)