Vrystaat festival picks up the Pace

2018-06-06 06:01

The Vrystaat Arts Festival is proud to announce the first open call for participation in the inaugural Pan-African Creative Exchange (Pace).

Pace was born in Bloemfontein at a long-table conversation between professionals of the African continent and international visitors.

Pace 2018 starts the Vrystaat Arts Festival as a three-day provocation for the interdisciplinary arts in Africa. It aims to facilitate discussion on African cultural development with national and international presenters, producers, buyers, artists and the public.

“The creative industries in Africa contribute less than 1% to the global (touring) creative economy. The aim of Pace 2018 is to increase the global reach of the interdisciplinary creative arts industries in Africa, and contribute to the development of future work from the continent,” says Nike Jonah, Pace founding and programme director, as well as director of Afrovibes UK.

“Pace 2018 will facilitate connections between the growing creative and cultural industries within Africa, as well as with international partners worldwide, to reinforce and reflect the wider, global cultural significance of the creativity of Africa,” says Erwin Maas, Dutch New York-based Pace founding director and artistic director of the International Society of Performing Arts (Ispa).

Wole Oguntokun, artistic director, Renegade Theatre, Nigeria, has expressed his optimism about Pace.

“In all my years of practice, I never came across an organisation that truly helped facilitate a Pan-African exchange programme for the performing arts.

“Often, the only chances for cross-cultural exchanges are when we look to Europe and the Americas. It is why the possibility of being a part of the first edition of Pace and the benefits that might come with it, fill me with such excitement.’

Cornelia Faasen, chief executive officer of the National Afrikaans Theatre Initiative (NATi) and founding sponsor of Pace is excited about opportunities created.

“Pace is extraordinarily important for Africa, as we enter a period of unprecedented visibility of our many cultures. Pace will examine how indigenous African languages, including Afrikaans in all its diverse forms, can be supported in a globalised context, to highlight the diversity of Africa and its culture of excellence.”

Artists and cultural professionals from a range of African countries, as well as a number of guests from Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, the UK and the US are expected.


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