EU supports Zim culture industry

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HARARE – Three leading European cultural agencies have launched a programme that seeks to professionalise the Zimbabwean cultural sector.

The programme dubbed Creative Zimbabwe is the brainchild of Alliance Francaise, British Council and Goethe Institute and will be bankrolled by a $670 000 financial contribution from the European Union.

It is being rolled out under the banner of the Zimbabwe cluster of the European Union National Institutes of Culture (Eunic), will provide a platform for the exchange of African and EU creative industry expertise.

The programme builds upon the Basket Case Weaving project run by Alliance Francaise in 2009/10, and the British Council’s on-going Creative Economy programme.

Creative Zimbabwe is designed to build further the capacity of weaving communities to interact independently with market players including local entrepreneurs, training providers and international buyers.

Over 1 000 rural basket weavers located in Lupane, Binga, Masvingo, Bulawayo and Honde Valley are set to benefit from the programme. The weavers will receive training and will have the opportunity to collaborate with prominent Zimbabwean and European designers and visual artists creating weaving products and contemporary art pieces of an international standard.

This will lead to increased exposure to local, regional and international markets, with the aim of realising improved household income within the participating rural communities.

Under parallel projects, a total of 20 artistes from different disciplines will gain exposure through a series of professional development interventions in the areas of film and visual art.

In addition, five Zimbabwean writers will come together with a German research writer and The National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe to write a contemporary art book, Mawonero.

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