Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
IYASA in partnership with the City of Bulawayo’s Cultural Affairs Department will today launch an inter-cultural dialogue series with the hope of revamping youth centres in the city.
The dialogue dubbed ‘‘Creative Diversity and Social Inclusion Project’’ (CREDISI) will start with an interface meeting between council and arts stakeholders at the council chambers at 10AM.
Iyasa director Nkululeko Dube said it is their hope to revamp the youth centres around the city which have been neglected for a long time.
“The City of Bulawayo has public spaces and infrastructure in communities that were created to serve the arts sector, but due to the economic meltdown, vandalism and neglect, the spaces have failed to deliver their mandate to the sector.
“This has led to a shortage of safe creative spaces for artistes to work from. Iyasa working closely with the Bulawayo City Council will promote peaceful and dignified collaborations and advocacy on policies/by-laws with a hope of getting them reviewed,” said Dube. He said they were optimistic that from this dialogue, they will prevent arts spaces from turning into white elephants. “It’s our hope that the project will facilitate development and growth of ideas, strategies and subsequently recognise art as a pillar for economic/urban development. We also want spaces managed by local authorities to be developed by all stakeholders involved so that they don’t end up as white elephants,” said Dube.
The project, Dube said, targets to engage youth-led organisations, women’s arts groups, creative clubs/hubs as well as initiatives done by up-and-coming and independent artistes in the city. He said CREDISI will run for one year with dialogue meetings/workshops set to be hosted after every four months. Artistic presentations and performances will be held once a month as the project seeks to achieve more social cohesion and inclusion in Bulawayo.
With this project, Dube said they hope to influence council policy on the arts. “The results of the project will influence the desired change of having a local authority that has favourable urban development policies and by-laws with results targeted to have a city with infrastructure that can assist in the development of the arts sector,” said Dube.