BY SHARON SIBINDI
LOCAL arts education and cultural policy research organisation, Nhimbe Trust, has partnered with United Kingdom’s Lyric Hammersmith Theatre for the Here, There, Now project funded by the British Council under its digital collaboration and storytelling grants scheme.
Nhimbe Trust, in a statement, said the project brought together the works of 20 female artists from Bulawayo and London in virtual spaces, exchanging experiences in homes and studios in the two cities.
“In response to Black Lives Matter and events of 2020 including the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the online collaboration was created to provide young women the agency, power and platform to share their voice and stories with others who are experiencing the same issues from the other side of the globe,” said Nhimbe Trust.
“Led by award-winning artist Lady Tshawe in Bulawayo, and UK-based theatre director Monique Touko, the project brought 20 young women together online through a series of workshops to create new stories exploring womanhood, identity and race that are written and performed by the company and shared digitally in both nations.”
Tshawe said: “It has been a huge learning curve for everyone, but this exchange, I believe, will inspire the participants to explore and challenge themselves creatively.”
One of the UK participants, Felicia Akin-Tayo, a student at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama said: “Here, There, Now is everything and more than what I expected it to be.
“From the first session on Zoom, I immediately felt comfortable, safe and empowered among the group of females present.”
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Zimbabwean participants on the project include Getrude Munhamo-Pfumayaramba, Thandy Dhlana, Privilege Mathema, Sidumisile Mtethwa, Pamela Mnkandla, Laura Ngwenya, Hazel Moyo, Antonatte Maphosa, Shammah Banda and Edith Masango.
The UK participants directed by Monique Touko include Hannah Balogun, Amaliyah Allison-Pounder, Na’eemah N’Diage, Felicia Akin-Adaramola, Yiga Gaolou, Taga Obano-Cox, Hannah Balogun, Deja Linton, Joanita Markin and Nyasha Hernandez.
Follow Sharon on Twitter @SibindiSharon