In 2013 I had the privilege of becoming a partner in an international intercultural performance project entitled HOPES AND MEMORIES co-funded by the European Union and a series of partners from South Africa, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The project involves a series of artistic residencies in all the participating countries which in principle are about intercultural and interdisciplinary discovery and experimentation. To what end? Well to begin with there is something to be said for the international bonding that is emerging between the partners. This alone has allowed the partners access to each others ideas, cultures that has been enlightening and valuable.
On another level, it has opened a discourse on the whole concept of ‘intercultural performance’ and ‘interdisciplinary performance which is at once gratifying yet controversial. Towards a further discourse there will be a cultural week in Durban, South Africa which will include a mini-seminar on this very topic. Several Durban based academics and a few key national and international stakeholders will deliver papers in and around the subject of ‘intercultural performance’
Last year several residencies were held in Durban, in Marseilles, in Prague, in Budapest and in Slovakia at which s variety of performance and artistic ideas where workshopped and discussed. The influence of a variety of performance and visual disciplines were also discussed and developed in relation to the project. Later this year, all of these ideas will be combined in the production of a piece of theatre that will tour France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and South Africa. Clearly the production itself may end being research in itself.
Attendance at the seminar in Durban is free of charge. Watch this space for more detail!