Theatre and visual art players in the country have described an in-coming artistic project, Staging Times, as a step in the right direction in the promotion of their respective sectors.
The Staging Times is being championed by Migrant Arts, a local organisation which focuses on visual and performing arts, in cooperation with visual and performing artists from selected African countries.
The K20 million project will recruit, on a contract basis, four Malawian artists, two actresses and two actors with experience in physical stage theatre and installation.
The project will also involve visual artists whose search will form part two of the project to commence in July.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam) president Eric Mabedi said the project offers an opportunity to the local art players and he is optimistic that they will show the required interest to be part of the project.
He said: “Often times we have bemoaned our lack of development in the arts. However, this is mainly because such opportunities are few and far in between. Our friends who have achieved huge success in other countries have benefited from such opportunities.”
Reacting to the news of the project, renowned visual artist Elson Kambalu said if the concept will be sold to them rightly, it is an opportunity that can benefit a lot of artists in the country.
The project, which will receive technical and financial support from Switzerland and Germany, will explore dimensions of how visual and performing arts can interact in linking African photography and theatre to create an Intra-African between artists from six African countries.
According to project coordinator Thoko Kapiri, artists and actors from Malawi, will join colleagues from Mali, Burundi, South Africa, Kenya and Burkina Faso.
He said the project will culminate into the staging of a theatre production enriched with photographs to be performed in the country of origin as well as at international festivals in Africa and Europe.
“The design of the project follows a format whereby the visuals will source of inspiration for the theatre artists. The plays and performances which will be based on the pictures will again generate new photos,” said Kapiri.
The production will start from June this year and the project will run till February next year. The actors to be considered have to be 21 years old and above.