EU invests millions in local artsEU

HARARE - The European Union, EU has invested $1,8 million in Zimbabwe’s arts industry between 2013 and 2014, the EU Ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia has revealed.

Dell’Ariccia told the Daily News that the investment can even reach $3,3 million if indirect investments are included.

“The EU has managed to get a direct budget for arts and culture in Zimbabwe of $1,8 million for the years 2013 and 2014,” he said.

“However, there are a series of other actions that have been supported and the total is probably close to $3,3 million.”

In 2013, 35 projects were supported through partnership with Culture Fund, Eunic, National Gallery and Hifa.

Eight festivals were supported namely Chimanimani, Binga, Intwasa, Let Them Trust, Last Destination, Hifa, Shoko and many others. More than 3 000 artistes benefitted and 15 000 visitors attended the festivals.

Dell’Ariccia revealed that this is being done through the various arts and cultural initiatives in the country.

“The EU delegation has always been supportive of the arts and culture sector in Zimbabwe, and in particular through festivals bringing artists to and throughout Zimbabwe.”

EU has also managed to send artistes to Europe in exchange programmes.

“We supported the participation of Zimbabwean artists to the Venice Biennale of Arts in 2011 and 2013 and to the establishment of the Zimbabwe Pavilion at that event which is arguably one of the most important arts’ exhibitions in the world.

“We will also support the exhibition of the women weavers’ art crafts in Europe in order to validate the quality of goods produced in Zimbabwe.

“The band Mokoomba, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, Hope Masike, Netsayi Chigwendere, Dudu Manhenga, Blessing Chimanga and the late Chiwoniso, just to name a few, are very popular.”

Dell’Ariccia said Zimbabwean visual arts are also registering a growing interest in several European countries and this completes the appreciation that Shona stone sculptures have enjoyed in the past in Europe.

“Support has mainly gone towards performing arts, visual arts, as well as literary arts. We have also been directly and indirectly supporting the local film industry and the publishing sector.

“In fact, it is difficult to single out one genre. Support has also gone towards supporting other categories which are linked to art and culture such as the fashion industry,” he said.


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