By Jeoffrey Mukubi
THE word ‘contemporary’ appears to be making headlines on the arts and culture platform locally while the idea of artists hosting small generic events with unambiguous and interesting little twists has left many Namibians eager to go out and enjoy arts events.
Contemporary arts has become a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that challenge traditional boundaries and defy easy definitions.
To sum it up, this now basically means that the contemporary music, art pieces or even films may be confusing or may make no sense at all but can be very fascinating to watch, listen or feel.
It has always been a joy seeing different and peculiar arts in many of the arts disciplines for the past years, where the term contemporary has been incorporated as artists have adopted the idea of doing things differently.
One such event is the Gathering, which is an audition-based show that welcomes artists of all levels of experience to showcase their work and collaborate with other art forms.
The key word in this is collaboration and is the one thing the creator and director of the show Ashwyn Mberi managed to emphasize.
He said the Gathering simply catered for those who were passionate and wanted to expose their work as often as possible even if they were not professionals.
The show highlighted and celebrated International Woman’s Day and it drew a crowd of approximately 150 people with a calming effect atmosphere on everyone in attendance while the performances were mesmerizing and very intimate.
Mberi said, “I felt the need to come up to the gathering because I felt like we could do more to create more platforms for up and coming performers who are hungry to be on the scene. I would not compare it to any other platforms, because it accompanies the other platforms and welcomes all sorts of artists to express themselves.
“These contemporary platforms have given non-conventional artists an opportunity to not only express themselves freely, but to also add new blood to the industry.
“The fact that it is a combination of different art forms coming together to make one big show, is a great deal, but let’s not forget that it’s really about the spirit of collaboration.
“It’s about focusing on the underdog that probably would have gotten the opportunity, and putting the spotlight on these artists. The public has been wonderful and incredible and it’s inspiring to see people coming out to see people aren’t necessarily popular.” Mberi added. He said the Gathering was planning to take the show into smaller towns as well as collaborating with other events within the SADC region. Other contemporary events include the Future Africa Visions in Time (FAVT) project which was produced by international artists who have reference to Africa.
They collaborated with researchers in various fields to collect information and formulate academic knowledge that is reflected through their artworks.
The artworks aim to portray emotions of the pivotal and significant moments when memories are translated into visions of the future, Africa’s future, but in different modes of “futuring”; healing/ remembering, longing/ desiring, optimizing de/ stabilizing.
These series of exhibitions and shows are currently being shown at the Goethe Institute in
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