Arts project combines photography, theatre

Local arts company, Migrant, is part of organisations from six African countries exploring different dimensions of combining visual and performing arts.

Through a project called Staging Times, the design of the concept is to see pictures providing a source of inspiration for theatre artists in Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Burundi, Mali and Burkina Faso.

Migrant Arts artistic director Thoko Kapiri said the design of the project follows a ping-pong format where there is a symbiotic relationship between theatre and photography.

Kalanje: I am excited

He said: “Pictures will provide a source of inspiration for theatre artists. Vice versa, their plays and performances, based on the pictures, will again generate new photos.

“The workshop component will be launched for and with young photographers of the participating countries.”

Kapiri said the innovative engagement with the topic ‘time’ constitutes the core interest – a topic which plays a prominent role in both forms of artistic expressions even if approached from different angles.

“While photography can preserve a moment over time, theatre lives and fascinates only in the very elusive instant,” he said.

The artistic outcome of Staging Times will consist of three theatre productions enriched with photographs will first be performed in their country of origin.

The production period is one year and starts in August. Each country will stage the first performance by November or December this year. Then all exhibitions of the three pairs; Malawi is working with South Africa, Burundi and Kenya, Mali and Burkina Faso will take place in Burundi and in Europe in 2020.

Other than working with Lebo Kyaghe from South Africa who is in charge in that country, Kapiri also has Misheck Mzumara as co-script editor besides being in the cast.

“The other cast members from Malawi are Dyna Kalanje, Brenda Mselu, Constance Thyangathyanga, Sharon Manthala, and Chimwemwe Motomoto-Munthali.

In a separate interview, Kalanje said she is looking forward to rehearsals as well as performances for the project.

“I am excited that starting August we will be working on the project.

I am looking forward to working with different talented actors locally and internationally. This for me is a breakthrough,” she said.

The project is with funding and technical support director Clemens Bechtel of Germany and Noemi Steuer, an academic of Switzerland scheduled to visit Malawi in October.

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