Collaborative Projects in Southern Africa

Pro Helvetia’s office in Johannesburg is coming up with an exciting and diversified programme of Swiss performing arts in from May to July 2019.

Mats Staub’s «21 – Memories of Growing Up» project has been redesigned for VR in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The international collaborative performance «PINK MON€Y» challenges the practice of buying access to «safe spaces» within the LBGTIQ+ community. «La Légende Baoulé» invites young audiences to question their role within their community. The multi-disciplinary performance installation «Converting Eviction» looks at South Africa’s struggles with decolonization and interrogates the history of private property and belonging.

21 May – 10 June: Mats Staub, «21 – Memories of Growing Up», VR version, Waza Art Centre, Lubumbashi
«21» is an ongoing and evolving project of Swiss artist Mats Staub. It comprises dozens of interview portraits with people from around the world reflecting on their memories of turning 21. In Lubumbashi, «21» will be presented in a VR format for the first time. This Edition will be combined with workshops exploring VR and digital arts technology.

30 May: Tim Zulauf & Sello Pesa, «Converting Eviction», showing of work-in-progress, The Centre for the Less Good Idea, Johannesburg
«Converting Eviction» (working title) is an ongoing research project by South African and German/Swiss artists Sello Pesa and Tim Zulauf. The project involves collaborators from both contexts, looking closely at South Africa’s dense and extraordinary struggles with decolonisation, and dealing with the history of property, belonging and the means of creating meaningful lives within dysfunctional structures. The showing in May presents the project at an early stage of development in the form of a theatrical installation.
The premiere and further performances will take place from November on in South Africa and Switzerland.

3 – 5 July: Annalyzer/Covic/de Rooij/Jina/Mdluli/Schupp, «PINK MON€Y» , National Arts Festival (main programme), Makhanda / Grahamstown
«PINK MON€Y» is a performance piece that transforms the theatre into an LBGTIQ+ club where the audience moves around freely between the dancefloor, bar, stages and DJ console. Pink money is a term used within the queer community to refer to the cash spent by queer tourists so that they can spend their holiday in safe places. The project questions this practice, and how in countries like South Africa, this is primarily used by white, polyglot bohemians.

Cie. Deux Fois Rien, «La Légende Baoulé» , dates below
This story of the origins of the Baoulé people in Ivory Coast is well-known throughout West Africa. It has been adapted into a multi-sensory show with shadow theatre, masked characters, physical theatre and storytelling. The performing trio is comprised of Ivorian comedian-clown-puppeteers Fidèle Baïbo and Hyacinthe Brika Zougbo and Swiss shadow theatre practitioner Anne Compagnon.

15-16 May: French Institute of Cotonou, Benin
24-28 May: French Institute of Ivory Coast, Abidjan, and Bouaké
1 June: French Institute of Lomé, Togo