Our Offices & Partners Abroad

For detailed information please click on the offices and cultural centres below. For further information on the headquarters in Zurich please go to: www.prohelvetia.ch

Research Residency SDC

ROUTES FOR ROOTS: Poetics of place among Lesotho’s shepherd subculture

Johannesburg >> Mafeteng

Thabo Jijana will undertake a speculative “stay” among Lesotho’s shepherds, focusing on parts of the Mafeteng region, south of Maseru. As a provisionary exploration of the subculture of shepherd boys essentially living separate from the primary everyday proceedings of their rural societies,

Thabo will appropriate their experiences into a long poem of defamiliarized imageries of rural lifestyles (via aphorism, quote, joke, wisdoms, ‘spoken word’ as story, etc) so as to demonstrate, beyond site-specific depictions of Mafeteng, the fact of rural worldviews as fringe world knowledge. As a village boy who also grew up very much feeling as if one with the Mafeteng shepherd boys’ existence on the periphery of village life, Thabo insists on their participation, inclusion and existence at the centre of village living by giving priority to their pithiest, raunchiest, funniest, wisest articulations of being, as an attempt at affirming their place in dominant narratives of rural livelihoods, prioritizing their diverse approaches to the maintenance of traditional practices. A gestural work or work of gestures, Thabo says that he “only hopes to make an inconclusive statement on the search for other modes of rural world-making, exploring the ways in which rural people facilitate activism, entrepreneurship and self-expression”.

Thabo will be in Mafeteng conducting his reseach “stay” from mid-August until late September, 2019.

Upcoming maintenance work

The application portal myprohelvetia will be updated from 1.1.-7.1.2024. Due to these changes, open applications must be finalized and submitted via the current online portal (myprohelvetia.ch) by the latest 23:59 on 31 December 2023. Until this date, the deadlines and criteria outlined in the current guidelines and calls for applications apply. New applications can be created and submitted in the application portal as of 8 January 2024.