Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called for the establishment of an innovative educational program to help young designers from BRICS countries.
Addressing a delegation of BRICS Ministers of Culture on Wednesday, he said the programme must assist young designers to understand the fashion industry, promote the creation of market access and the consumption of fashion amongst BRICS countries.
The Minister said the programme must also support access for BRICS fashion designers to participate in each other’s premier fashion shows and to jointly explore manufacturing, textile and retail opportunities within BRICS countries.
“Fashion like film is one of the key cornerstones of the creative industry. Both are worth millions to the economy and both are major job creators,” Mthethwa said.
He said the success of the inaugural BRICS fashion show indicates that there is a market for BRICS Fashion.
The 3rd BRICS Ministers of Culture meeting was held at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, Maropeng in Gauteng.
Mthethwa said animation from traditional film has the power to encourage the development of a globally competitive BRICS animation industry.
“Animation can form the basis of a brand new human narrative by which we perceive, experience, and entertain through film. The technological and skills set required to excel in this field of cinema lends itself easily to be tied in with the 4th Industrial economy of the 21st century and beyond,” he said.
He said animation is a medium that can also draw in a lot of young people to explore and experiment with technology and in the process learn various skills required in the animation industry.
The Minister said the BRICS Film Festival has become an important feature in the BRICS calendar of events.
“More work including the political, legal, policy, financial and institutional framework has to be done to advance the establishment of BRICS Co- Productions, Animation, a Film Fund, BRICS Academy Awards and distributions strategies.
“It is the work that has to be done by all of us regardless of the difference in our system of governments and departments,” the Minister said.
Potential of creative economy
Mthethwa said the creative economy represented by film, fashion, animation, crafts and music are arguably the greatest assets culture has.
“It is in this context colleagues that we need to move speedily, to instruct the Working Group to begin work on the available opportunities within BRICS, and to present to us the plan and budget to realise this during our next meeting in Brazil in 2019,” he said.
The Department of Arts and Culture on Tuesday hosted the BRICS senior officials meeting as a precursor to the Ministerial meeting.
Arts and Culture Director-General Vusimusi Mkhize said the senior officials meeting agreed on the proposed working group within BRICS, made of senior officials, who will devise plans and execute programmes upon Ministerial approval.
“The working group will also ensure the implementation of projects, policy alignment and that regular BRICS Ministerial meetings are held when and if necessary to ensure timeous delivery of these programmes.
The programmes that were discussed were on the creative economy, including film, fashion, animation, creative cities network, BRICS cities of culture, tourism and astronomy.
“We have drafted a declaration for the Minister’s consideration and its adoption. This declaration once adopted by the Ministers will enable to facilitate the implementation and execution of the programmes under BRICS culture.
“Other areas of importance were cultural heritage, particularly under the issue of illicit trade in cultural goods and skills development. The need for funding for various programmes was also discussed,” Mkhize said.
The BRCIS Ministers of Culture are expected to adopt and sign the declaration of the BRICS Ministerial meeting on Wednesday afternoon.