Alongside our primary focus on exchange and collaboration between Switzerland and Southern Africa, Pro Helvetia Johannesburg has since 1998 been investing in transnational collaborations, exchanges and joint projects between organisations and creative practitioners spread across the SADC region. This “intra-regional” programming is financed through a series of cooperation agreements with the regional office of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) located in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Countries included in the scope of our Regional Development Programme include
Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
In the last three years (2015 – 2017), the impact of the programme has increased substantially both in geographical reach and impact, with our office supporting approximately 1 200 arts professionals involved in 135 projects and residencies. These activities have traversed all fifteen countries in the region, with an especially significant footprint in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Madagascar. Aside from enabling the development of new and relevant works across diverse fields of practice, the most important result of the programme has however been the web of connections and relationships between individuals, projects and initiatives across the region that it has enabled.
The programme for the 2018 – 2020 period continues in this vein, assisting in the development of a more connected cultural field in the Southern African region, supporting transnational collaboration, circulation of relevant new work and skills/knowledge exchange.
The main development in our approach during the coming period will be to invest resources in a now quite well defined network of strategic partners – key organisations and initiatives located in major cities across the region. Our investment amplifies the ability of these organisations to engage in activities that have a transnational dimension, from residencies and the development of new work, through to workshops and master classes. Provision is also made for modest investment in organisational development.
We also continue with the ANT funding programme, providing micro-grants supporting mobility within the region, though with the fund now clearly distinguishing between applications from individual artists and arts professionals, and applications from organisations, groups and companies. For more info about ANT funding go here.