The empty site of DANSE’ARTE with only the residence house already built. They are starting the construction of the theatre next week. Rejao is muraling the house now.

Culture (and industry) is developing very fast here in Mozambique. I have only known the place roughly 3 years and I see fundamental changes since the time I came here first. Infrastructure like roads and telephone networks is improving and just since our arrival people are suddenly becoming connected on facebook, have access to the internet etc. This is a great change and my feeling is that there is a radical change happening in culture, including our young school ISAC. Many things are happening, I blog about those that are close to my work but many other things are going on as well.

Last Saturday we went to meet Maria Helena Pinto, because friend Rejao is working there, creating a large mural and since our friends Gilles and Cecilie are here participating in a program in ISAC on murals we thought it fun to pop by. When we arrived I got a major surprise. I had not know what Maria Helena (who teaches at ISAC in cultural management faculty) and her partners are up to. She explained the construction of a large cultural complex in Matola. There is to be built a theatre for dance, with apartments for artists in residence (six I think), gymnasium for dancers, cyber cafe and various other things. They started construction in March last and the plan is to have the whole thing completed by 2014, although Maria Helena is impatient and wants things to be done faster. It is of course finance that dictates the speed of the development.

The very early stages of the mural done by Rejao

We met up with Rejao stuck to his pencil working on the mural and we were invited for dinner and talk about the future of the complex. It is great to see this initiative, think to the near future where artists can apply to stay and develop their projects and run performances. I am really excited for Maria Helena. The place is named DANSE’ARTE, the art of dance. Dance of course is the center of Mozambican culture and the simplest way to access the people, as has been proofed in the Sem Balanca project where dance is used as a way to communicate other issues like deforestation. I am really keen to work closer with dancers (me not being one myself other than shaking the hips with rock and roll) to develop various projects in communication and design.

A very pleasant dinner, no furniture yet but great. From left: Rejao, Cecilie, Soley, Quito Tembe, Maria Helena Pinto and Heyko Maria’s son.

May 17, 2010  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: PONDERINGS