The Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF) and the European Union Delegation to South Africa, with the support of the Cultural Relations Platform, are pleased to announce the recipients of the MusicXwords project.
The initiative aims to facilitate interdisciplinary exchange between musicians and spoken word artists in South Africa. It will provide training to participants and offer them showcasing opportunities in South Africa and across Europe, while actively strengthening collaboration between South African artists and European festivals, bookers and programmers.
On 25 August, the MIAF published an open call for participation in the project. Some 105 applications were received and a jury of industry professionals – including Maneo Mohale, Goodenough Mashego and Roshnie Moonsamy, among others – picked the top 10 acts who will participate in a capacity-building workshop on 28 October. The workshop will promote knowledge sharing with a view to connect the South African and European arts and culture scenes while teaching the participants skills in packaging their creative products for a global digital audience.
These acts, which comprise 36 individual band members, will also be invited to showcase their talents during a virtual concert at Soda Studios in Johannesburg on 29 October. The concert will be broadcast to the public via Music In Africa’s Facebook page(link is external), affording the participants the opportunity to perform for bookers from Europe and Africa.
“It has been thrilling to collaborate with our partners, the European Union Delegation to South Africa and the Cultural Relations Platform, on this programme, which sees the Music In Africa Foundation working within the realm of spoken word – a first for us,” MIAF projects manager Violet Maila said. “We are happy to announce the top 10 applicants, who we believe possess immense talent that lies in this country’s flourishing creative industries. It is our sincere hope that this opportunity will catapult all participants to new career heights while creating opportunities for collaboration and shared learning.”
After the conclusion of the showcase performances at Soda Studios, a minimum of five acts will be selected to perform at European festivals in 2022.
EU ambassador Riina Kionka said: “The EU views culture as an important element at the heart of its partnership with Africa, especially at this time in which cultural industries in both Europe and Africa have been so badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “MusicXwords has allowed the EU to actively support culture as a space for opportunity and hope for young cultural operators within the spoken word and music genres.”
Below are the 10 selected participants of the MusicXwords 2021 project:
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The MusicXwords project is an initiative by the EU Delegation to South Africa, implemented in partnership with the Music In Africa Foundation and supported by the Cultural Relations Platform.
About the Music In Africa Foundation
The MIAF is a pan-African, non-profit organisation based in Rosebank, Johannesburg, with satellite offices in East, West and Central Africa. The MIAF’s mission is to support the African music sector through promoting knowledge exchange and creating opportunities and capacity for music professionals. The foundation does this in two ways: digitally via the Music In Africa website (www.musicinafrica.net) and offline through training programmes, artist mobility programmes, workshops, concerts, lobbying, conferences and other related initiatives.
About the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa
Since the establishment of the European Union Delegation in the country after the first democratic elections in 1994, the EU and South Africa saw rapidly expanded cooperation. The relations were strengthened in 2007 with the establishment of the EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership, a forward-looking platform that facilitates wide-ranging cooperation between our two parties. A range of dialogues between the EU and South Africa allow to share experiences in areas of common interest, or where challenges have to be faced. Areas covered by these dialogues include education, health, energy, the environment, macro-economic policies, human rights, peace and security including maritime security. The partnership is broad and comprehensive and covers political, trade and development interests, as well as cultural relations. Except for consular tasks, the Delegation in Pretoria functions like an embassy; it is a diplomatic mission representing the European Union to South Africa together with the 27 Member States of the European Union.
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About the Cultural Relations Platform
Launched in April 2020 by the European Union, the Cultural Relations Platform is designed to strengthen the EU’s ability to engage meaningfully with different audiences and stakeholders in its partner countries, through enhanced cultural relations and cultural cooperation. The Platform aims to promote and facilitate sustainable cultural exchange, support cooperation among cultural and creative sectors, and strengthen communities and networks of cultural practitioners. It supports and funds several activities in partner countries around the globe, including in collaboration with the EU delegations Worldwide.
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