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5 countries to participate in Pro Helvetia Johannesburg's 2018 Winter Programme

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia Johannesburg's 2018 Winter Programme is set to feature artists and practitioners from five countries - Madagascar, Mozambique, Lesotho, South Africa, and Switzerland - in a lineup of interdisciplinary performances and exhibitions over June and July 2018 period. The programme is designed to advance creative innovation and develop cultural networks in celebration of two decades of artistic and cultural exchange between Switzerland and Southern Africa.
Ha Mais choreographed by Thomas Hauert - photo by Jorge Goncalves

The Winter Programme features a selection of jazz, dance, contemporary art, and installations in an expansive web of venues designed to cultivate audiences, develop a cultural exchange, and connect communities. With a strong presence at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Pro Helvetia's Winter Programme makes visible a distinguished track record of engagement in the Southern African region with an array of projects characterised by both challenge and surprise. In an effort to engage with a broad spectrum of audiences and offer those who cannot go to Grahamstown a chance to experience the festival in their own city, the Winter Programme travels these festival performances to Antananarivo, Maputo, Cape Town, King Williams Town, Durban, and Johannesburg.

Hamlet - photo by Donata Ettlin

This year, Pro Helvetia's commitment to pushing the boundaries of creative expression and collaboration extends to the acclaimed International Symposium on Electronic Art in Durban. Combined with the Durban University of Technology Digital Festival and Innovate Durban's 2018 Innovation Festival, this hub of state-of-the-art industries positions creative technological innovation as an activist engagement into public space and public practice. This symbiotic relationship between science and art expands with the launch of Pro Helvetia's new art-science residency programme developed in partnership with the Artists in Labs unit at the Institute for Cultural Studies at the Zurich University of the Arts.

The range of performances and exhibitions on offer combine to form a journey, offering a platform for exploration, discovery, and engagement for artists and audiences alike. With a focus on generating dialogue and interchange, the 2018 Winter Programme features a series of insightful workshops and panel discussions that blend to achieve greater creative development among communities.

Hildegard Learns To Fly - photo by Reto Andreoli

Pro Helvetia head Joseph Gaylard: "It is an honour for us to celebrate 20 years of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia in Johannesburg with our compelling array of partnerships and collaborations that come together to create a potent offering of some of the finest creative arts in the world.

"Our anniversary year provides an opportunity for us to recognise the significant impact of arts and culture in the SADC region through ambitious projects such as our Winter Programme that serves to collapse distance between communities and reinforce strong cultural ties across the region. This milestone allows us to reflect – with partners in Switzerland and the SADC region – on the role and position of creative alliances in ways that boost and strengthen the cultural landscape of Southern Africa," said Gaylard.

To view the 2018 programme click here
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