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Hifa goes to the people

An exciting outreach programme that takes festival events out of the main venue, Harare Gardens, has been a part of the arts fete over the past few years and this year it has even gone further.

The “First Street Platform “is one of the programmes that have been designed with diverse performances during the Hifa week.

Street theatre groups will perform everyday at lunch hour in First Street Mall.

“We have an exciting outreach programme lined up this year and it includes the First Street performances’ that will be held during lunch hours,” said Hifa spokesperson, Rosie Mitchell.

“In Chitungwiza we will also have artists performing there and we hope that Zimbabweans will pour into the capital to enjoy.”

The city project for Hifa 2011 is also part of the outreach programme that will include several large scale and permanent public art works being developed in the lead up to the festival.

Zimbabwean born designer, Heath Nash who is  one of South Africa’s leading designers will be in Harare to develop and produce a large-scale light installation in the city.

He is most well known for his use of recycled materials in constructing light designs.

“In recent years, due to the dire socio, economic situation, the Central business district of Harare has seen massive decay and a breakdown in basic infrastructure.

“People no longer feel safe in the city centre and this is something that we need to address, we hope that this project will create a platform for long term regeneration plans with the public and private partnerships”, Mitchell said.

Another huge mural will be set up, like last year, at Matapi Flats in Mbare where Dutch artists Mooiemuur (meaning Beautiful Wall!) will be returning to Hifa this year with most of their popular paintings.

Mooiemuur has held workshops around the world for companies and individuals and has done work for the municipality of Barcelona and the municipality of Aalst in Belgium.

Mooiemuur’s high profile clientele includes working big names in pop entertainment such as Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson and global brand corporations like Levi Jeans, Deloitte and the Sheraton Group of Hotels.

They have also been asked to work on a large-scale project in New Orleans that is being headed by Brad Pitt.

The Festival has been running an extensive outreach programme that has engaged artists and fans even outside the normal venues.

The festival runs from April 27 to May 2 and hopes are high that Zimbabweans would pour into the capital to enjoy an array of arts programmes.

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