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Baya relives Intwasa Festival experience

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INTWASA Arts Festival is an annual celebration of local arts and culture which started in 2004.

It is traditionally held in Bulawayo every year during the spring season. This year’s edition held recently, marked the eighth anniversary of the festival, presenting various arts genres.

NewsDay Correspondent Sheryleen Masuku (ND) caught up with the director of Intwasa, Raisedon Baya (RB), for a postmortem of the festival. Below are excerpts of the interview.

ND: What was your assessment of this year’s festival?
RB: The 2012 edition was arguably the best Intwasa edition so far in terms of programming and public support. It was the first edition where we had full houses, where we had people bringing their families to Intwasa venues to spend a day. Even local artistes embraced the festival and came in numbers. Their combined effort was the colourful and mind-blowing performance we all witnessed during the official opening ceremony.

ND: What was the main inspiration behind the festival?
RB: The idea behind Intwasa is to celebrate the arts, all arts disciplines under one room. We also want to market Bulawayo as a tourist destination. We believe the arts and culture are an integral part of tourism. We want to play our part as artists in building Bulawayo – most of us are products of the city and recognise the better policies and attitude the city has towards arts and culture.

ND: You wanted to have seven art genres including film, but this discipline was later excluded. Why was it dropped?
RB: We did involve film because there was a film symposium at the American Corner where the likes of Cont Mhlanga, Skhangele Masunda, Danisa Ncube and other local filmmakers attended. What we didn’t have were the screenings because we didn’t get good short films to screen. There is little film activity happening in this part of the country and maybe we need to look beyond just Bulawayo.

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