Art and culture for democracy

PROJECT 2014-2015

Art and culture for democracy in Tanzania

Based on an application from the Association of Friends, the Swedish Institute has decided to contribute 600 000 SEK (about 90 000 USD) to a project for capacity building of staff and management at the National Museum and House of Culture. The project aims to build the capacity to plan, implement and follow up a number of cultural events aiming at making art and culture a strong force for the promotion of democracy and human rights in Tanzania. The current staff has limited experience of working in the cultural area as they mainly have competencies for duties linked to the museum. The capacity building will mainly be carried out in connection with specific events to take place at the National Museum and House of Culture, i.e. on-the-job training.

All of the events that took place during the course of this project made a strong thematic presentation on revelant Tanzanian issues in regards to Democracy and Human Rights:

Kivuko presented issues of gender balance / imbalance in theatrical form. Kivuko touched on the rights of young girls, discussing her right to education. It also questioned the acceptability of early marriges and put forward a strong argument against the status quo.

Sauti Yetu looked at the rights of youth using contemporary dance, music and poetry. It adresed topics including freedom of speech, the right to safety for people living with albinism, the right of disabled youth and the right to choose good leaders. There was an additional interactive element where youth rights were discussed using a social media platform beamed live, stimulating a lively audience discussion.

The Chrilden's Fair dealt with the rights of the child. A large number of primary and secondary school students highlithed a number of issues in a participatory process, including the right of education, the rights of childern living with disability, child labour, early marriges and the right to be heard.

Urban Heritage and Development days included a public forum with a panel discussion and an outdoor exhibition on selected route through the city of Dal er Salaam. Among the topics discussed was the right to the city and the public role in influencing this.

Exchange visits

Participants of the exchange visits as well as their colleagues regarded the exchange visits as useful and productive. Important connections were made and reports reflect these results. Chance Ezekiel visited of total 12 cultural institutions in Sweden and colleagues mentioned that be brought a lot of contacts and ideas back home with him. Two board members attended events in Dar es Salaam and staff mentioned that they gave a useful input and provided assitance where possbile. Plans were made for future training in capacity buildings amongst others, with the Helsingborg City Theatre.

The project started in July 2014 and be concluded in November 2015. A project leader based in Dar es Salaam will be recruited. Together with management and staff the project leader will elaborate a work plan for the implementation of the project. The project includes collaboration with experts in various areas to be engaged when needs have been defined in relation to the implementation of the different events which will be identified.  Collaboration with relevant institutions, organizations and persons in Tanzania, in the region as well as in Sweden is to be used to make use of the competencies which are needed.

Funds are available also for exchange of artistic work between Tanzania and Sweden.