Our presence at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this year makes visible a distinguished track record of engagement in the Southern African region with an array of projects characterised by both challenge and surprise.
In the theatre field, Basel-based director Boris Nikitin’s radically reimagines Hamlet, featuring the experimental documentary performance and electropunk-musician Julian Meding, alongside an ensemble of local musicians.
In the Jazz festival programme the extraordinary sextet Hildegard Lernt Fliegen (Hildegard Learns to Fly) led by Swiss voice magician Andreas Schaerer, and featuring some of Europe’s top jazz musicians returns this year. Vocalists Julie Fahrer and Lisette Spinler from Basel rejoin Nduduzo Makhatini, with whom they also collaborated on the SAMA award-winning album Inner Dimensions, also recorded in Basel.
Choreographer Panaibra Canda (Maputo) and Swiss counterpart Thomas Hauert revisit a decade old collaboration on two pieces, Mafalala and Há Mais, alongside Canda’s Marrabenta Solos, also staged in the context of the twentieth anniversary of Canda’s seminal choreographic laboratory, CulturArte.
And with support from the SDC, Harare-based Savanna Trust presents the multi-award-winning play Liberation, reflecting on the rise of patriotic dissent in Zimbabwe and the continent more broadly.