SAVANNA Trust director and theatre guru Daniel Maposa is in Switzerland on a one-month visiting residency that commenced yesterday and will run until September 16 in Zurich and Base, where he will be networking with arts organisations and festival organisers.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The top theatre practitioner was selected alongside two other theatre experts — Emma Durden from South Africa and Dadivo Combane of Mozambique — in recognition of their exceptional theatre work in Southern Africa.
Maposa told NewsDay Life & Style from Switzerland yesterday that the theatre residency, supported by the Johannesburg-based Prohelvetia (Swiss Arts Council), was a great learning and networking opportunity.
“I am happy to be part of such an explorative residency that will help me build relationships with Swiss theatre practitioners with a view to long-term partnerships and exchange between Southern African and Swiss groups,” he said.
“I think we are going to explore opportunities for our theatre (sub-sector) and see how we can position ourselves to benefit from international platforms. There has not been a lot of Zimbabwean theatre going out there into the world, so this residency is not only for my organisation, but for the whole country.”
Part of the projects which earned Maposa the recognition was the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Theatre Camp, a theatre training programme hosted by Savanna Trust for young people in the region.
The programme has seen several collaborations with South African theatre makers, while providing performance platforms and opportunities for other arts organisations in the region.
“As Savanna Trust, we have been leading arts projects across the Sadc region that have resulted in a number of collaborations, skills exchanges and touring by mostly theatre organisations in Sadc,” he said.
“I will be prepared to share notes with others on my return on how best we can exploit the few opportunities that are there. We need to begin to look beyond our borders if we are to sustainably grow our arts market.”
Since 2012, Savanna Trust has facilitated performances for over 10 arts groups from South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia Botswana and Malawi. The performances have been held in Zimbabwe.
Maposa has also organised training for seven scriptwriters to participate in the annual novel-script project in Grahamstown, South Africa, since 2014.