South Africa - United Kingdom Seasons connect
16 April 2013
Pretoria – South Africa and the United Kingdom have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the arts and culture sector between both countries.
South African Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile and British High Commissioner in South Africa Dame Nicola Brewer signed the MoU in Pretoria.
“The significance of the MoU is to strengthen the cultural relations between the two countries. We are also strengthening trust, mutual respect as well as creating opportunities for the further advancement of relations between our two nations. We note that it is not the first time that we undertake such an initiative with the United Kingdom,” Mashatile said.
Minister Mashatile said in 2005 they signed a Statement of Intent on Bilateral Co-operation, followed by the signing of a Film Co-production Treaty in 2006.
He said that as a result of the Treaty, eight films have been certified and co-productions involving South Africa, Canada and the United Kingdom have been developed.
“This memorandum was renewed in February this year, where the British Library committed to train the staff from the National Library of South Africa in the areas of digitisation and preservation. We are also pleased that as a result of our interactions on the cultural front, thirty South African curators were trained at different museums in the United Kingdom since 2006,” he said.
In 2010, Mashatile led a South African delegation to the United Kingdom on a fact finding mission to establish a National Skills Academy for the Creative Industries in South Africa.
The following year, the department launched a project to support South African playwrights which was done in partnership with the British Council, Sustained Theatre from the UK and Wits University.
Through the MoU, the two nations' relations will specifically focus on:
• Sharing experiences intended to promote and develop the creative industries in both countries;
• Establishing links between arts festivals in both countries;
• Collaborating between artists and arts institutions; and
• Artistic exchanges as well as joint publications.
Brewer said the signing of the MoU marked a new stage in furthering the cooperation between SA and UK in the Arts and Culture sector.
"South African-UK arts season planned for 2014 called ‘Connect-ZA: Connecting the creative communities of South Africa and the UK’. The MOU provides the vehicle for collaboration on this season. In coming weeks, representatives from the British Council and the DAC will sit down to begin mapping out specific programmes they will collaborate on as part of the season. It will include opportunities for showcasing and for capacity development in both countries. The season will have a strong focus on young people for whom the South Africa-UK connection needs to be re-fashioned every generation" Brewer said.
She also announced that together with South Africa the UK will host the South Africa-United Kingdom Seasons connect.
Brewer said this will provide an opportunity to celebrate the two nations' achievements and to use culture to strengthen further development for both South Africans and the people of the United Kingdom.
Photo: SA Department of Arts and Culture