The Sunday News
INTWASA ARTS FESTIVAL koBulawayo
WHEN? 21 -26 SEPTEMBER 2015
WHAT? Music, dance, theatre, spoken word, fashion and comedy. Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo is four weeks away. The festival is one of Zimbabwe’s premier arts gatherings curating about 50 events within a week — six days to be exact. The festival is a multi-discipline arts fiesta that celebrates human diversity and creativity. Workshops, discussions, crafts, fashion and various performances including comedy, theatre, dance and music take place as the arts momentarily colour the city of Bulawayo. The city hall car park is turned
into a creative space and for a week buzzes with cultural activities.
In its 11 years the festival has become a critical space for creative and cultural workers and a player in the democratisation of arts and culture in the country. Running under the theme My Intwasa, Your Intwasa, Our Intwasa the 2015 edition is set for 21 -26 September 2015 at different venues within Bulawayo’s central business district. As usual festival activities will be centred on Bulawayo Theatre, National Gallery, City Hall Car Park, Large City Hall and Bulawayo Club.
The festival is held in September for a good reason. The month of September is very significant to the people of Bulawayo and Zimbabwe in general. September marks the beginning of spring. And spring is the season of regeneration and rebirth. A season for new beginnings and new life, a season of bloom, happiness and celebration.
Festivals, all over the world, are curated for different reasons and they serve different purposes. But there is no doubt about their importance in every community they are held. Festivals have become the most popular way to promote the arts and connect arts lovers. Most festivals are platforms for celebration while others, like Intwasa, have become critical players in the democratisation of the arts — particularly in Zimbabwe.
Festivals are about good art, good times and creating good memories.
Festivals are about creating human dialogue.
Festivals are about connecting — people connecting with the past, present and future, people connecting with different spaces and narratives.
Festivals promote diversity, they bring neighbours into dialogue, they increase creativity, they offer opportunities for civic pride, and they improve our general psychological well being. In short, they bring a bright spark of light to an otherwise daily and monotonous routine of living.
Festivals, if well organised, can be serious drivers of tourism.
Festivals bring colour and a different atmosphere to an otherwise predictable life routine.
Without doubt Intwasa Arts Festival is one of the few cultural highlights of the city of Bulawayo. The city is a wonderful place — peaceful, scenic, and rich in songs, stories, heritage and history.
As in previous editions the programme has workshops, networking platforms, schools programming, platforms for emerging artistes and events like the Women, Wine, & Words, Comedy Night, Intwasa Fashion Show and others — events that have been popular in the last 10 editions.
This is Bulawayo’s event and the hope, as always, is that people will come out in huge numbers and support the festival.
The Pre Intwasa Poetry was big success. The turnout was probably the biggest in any poetry event in Bulawayo. The young poets were all on fire. Farirai Mapanzure walked away with the prize of the day. The festival is hoping the same crowds, in their numbers, will attend the festival itself.
On another note Intwasa Arts Festival is launching a new programme under the Culture mpacts Programme support by Culture Fund Trust of Zimbabwe. The new programme is a monthly dialogue series focusing on arts and culture in Bulawayo and relating these to the national and international situations. The programme is called Bulawayo Arts and Culture Agenda and will be launched on 27 August at The Bulawayo Club.
Artistes and Cultural workers interested in the dialogue can whatsapp their details to 0772814185.