South African Cultural Observatory

The Spirit of the Zwakala Festival rejuvenated

BY 22.08.19

The 26th Zwakala Festival has been given a new lease on life with a vision that will reach out to more artists and audiences. The revamped Zwakala Festival is also more attractive to its funders, the Department of Arts & Culture, with whose support through the Arts Incubator Programme the Festival is being relaunched in an exciting new format.

Over more than two decades the Market Theatre Foundation’s Zwakala Festival has through a strategic community theatre development programme discovered and groomed young artists from under-developed and under-resourced communities.

“The Zwakala Festival is known for unearthing and refining creative gems from the community theatre sector and for propelling these productions to platforms where they earn both recognition and acclaimed awards”, says Zama Buthelezi, the Market Theatre Foundation’s Brand & Communications Manager.

From past 2017 Zwakala Festival Isithunzi went on to scoop the Best Production Award at the 2017 National Arts Incubator Trade Fair.  Dikakapa (2018) and Tau (2016) won the the Standard Bank Ovation Awards at the National Arts Festival Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown).

The pioneering Zwakala Festival which pioneered a template for several other community festivals across the country.

“Community theatre festivals are a creative barometer of the social, political and economic tensions in South Africa. The productions reflect and mirror what is happening in the South African communities. It brings to the surface what young people are grappling with in their communities and in their daily lives”, adds Zama Buthelezi.

This year the Zwakala Festival will introduce an exciting innovation with the appointment of a Resident Festival Director who will develop and strengthen the scripts, intensify the fieldwork programme and offer intensive guidance regarding the directing and staging of the shortlisted productions.

“The Market Theatre Foundation is delighted to announce the appointment of Themba Mkhoma as the inaugural Resident Festival Director. This is  a challenging role but the Market Theatre Foundation is confident that with his vast skills and knowledge the Zwakala Festival will be elevated to become a dynamic celebration of the work by emerging theatre practitioners”, added Zama Buthelezi.

Themba holds a Master’s Degree in Drama Therapy, an Honors Degree in Applied Drama and a Higher Diploma in Education, Training and Development.  He is the first black male in Africa to train as a Drama Therapist. Mkhoma is also a writer, theatre and film director who specializes in Drama Therapeutic Reflective Practice which is the art of using drama processes to interrogate or to create dialogue about any professional practice.

As a Performing Arts Development Practitioner his processes include Soft Skills Training for artists. Themba has worked as a Fieldworker for the Market Theatre Laboratory for more than ten years. From June 2017 to date he has also been an associate lecturer at Drama For Life, a unit at the University of the Witwatersrand that brings together the disciplines of Applied Drama and Theatre within the context of a critical reflexive praxis.

The revamped Zwakala Festival will kick off with a series of development phases commencing this month. The full festival will take place during 3 –5 October when eight productions will go through intensive workshops and four productions will be presented over five days.

The changes to the Zwakala Festival will allow for new mentees to interact with professional counterparts in an enabling environment that will nurture and systematically develop their productions.  The Zwakala Festival is made possible by the Department of Arts and Culture’s  Incubation Programme which support a national strategy aimed at boosting the level of fresh young talent in the theatre industry and to bring about more local content on South African stages.

Applications for the 2018 Zwakala Festival are now open. Correspondence for booking showcase performances and further logistical enquiries about the Festival can be emailed to the Festival Coordinator, Sipho Mwale at siphom@markettheatre.co.za.

COVID-19 Impacts on the Sports Sector COVID-19 Impacts on the Sports Sector

World over, sport is recognised by many societies and governments as a major contributor to economic and social development. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected sports of all types across the world and is likely to have a major negative impact.

READ MORE
An Early Assessment of The Impact of The Covid-19 Crisis on The Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa An Early Assessment of The Impact of The Covid-19 Crisis on The Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa

As of March 2020, the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) conducted a survey targeting businesses and freelancers in the cultural and creative industries (CCIs). This survey was undertaken so that the Observatory could ascertain the impact of the measures that were put in place to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

READ MORE

Youth is not wasted on Young Creatives: The Creative Economy is where South Africa’s Youth will be national carriers in a Post-Covid-19 world Youth is not wasted on Young Creatives: The Creative Economy is where South Africa’s Youth will be national carriers in a Post-Covid-19 world

Young Creatives in South Africa have heaps of challenges stacked up against them. Their reality is like that of many youth and people whose livelihoods depend on informal labour practises and gig work. Nothing makes this more evident than the effects of Covid-19 on life as we know it. However it is through their infinite potential, innovative capabilities and resilience that the country is endowed with the means to solve the complex problems in the ever-uncertain present and towards a Fourth Industrial future.

READ MORE
SA Cultural Observatory releases report on the impact of Covid-19 on Cultural and Creative Industries SA Cultural Observatory releases report on the impact of Covid-19 on Cultural and Creative Industries

In late March, soon after President Ramaphosa announced several measures to limit the spread of coronavirus in the country, the South African Cultural Observatory undertook a study to evaluate the impact of Covid-19 and associated measures on the cultural and creative industries (CCIs). This took the form of both the online survey and economic impact assessment to find out what impact these measures were having on businesses and freelancers in the sector, the adaptation strategies, and the most useful kinds of support that could be provided. The study, the most comprehensive for the sector, was undertaken between March 30 and May 4, 2020 and provides an early assessment of the impact of the shutdown on the sector.

READ MORE

More News
Executive Direction June 2020 Executive Direction June 2020

As we all know and have somewhat even become accustomed to it, due to social distancing measures put in place to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, since March 26, we have all not able to travel to any venue to consume any form of arts and culture products. Libraries, archives, museums, films and television productions, theatre and orchestra performances, fashion shows, concert tours, zoos as well as music and arts festivals have all been closed or come to a complete halt. Could this signal a death knell for the sector? The answer has to be a Big No, at least not if we can help it as consumers and key stakeholders of the cultural and creative industries.

COVID-19 Impacts on the Sports Sector COVID-19 Impacts on the Sports Sector

World over, sport is recognised by many societies and governments as a major contributor to economic and social development. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected sports of all types across the world and is likely to have a major negative impact.

Mapping the Economic Value of the Creative Industry Mapping the Economic Value of the Creative Industry

In many countries, the growing importance of the cultural and creative industries is increasingly being recognised. The SA Cultural Observatory recently released its second Economic Mapping of the Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa 2020 (Economic Mapping Study).

An Early Assessment of The Impact of The Covid-19 Crisis on The Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa An Early Assessment of The Impact of The Covid-19 Crisis on The Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa

As of March 2020, the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) conducted a survey targeting businesses and freelancers in the cultural and creative industries (CCIs). This survey was undertaken so that the Observatory could ascertain the impact of the measures that were put in place to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Youth is not wasted on Young Creatives: The Creative Economy is where South Africa’s Youth will be national carriers in a Post-Covid-19 world Youth is not wasted on Young Creatives: The Creative Economy is where South Africa’s Youth will be national carriers in a Post-Covid-19 world

Young Creatives in South Africa have heaps of challenges stacked up against them. Their reality is like that of many youth and people whose livelihoods depend on informal labour practises and gig work. Nothing makes this more evident than the effects of Covid-19 on life as we know it. However it is through their infinite potential, innovative capabilities and resilience that the country is endowed with the means to solve the complex problems in the ever-uncertain present and towards a Fourth Industrial future.

Connect with us