Call for entries for NEA development festival

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National Eisteddfod Academy
National Eisteddfod Academy

The National Eisteddfod Academy (NEA) is calling for entries for its inaugural Indigenous Arts Development Festival.

With the support of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), the NEA’s Indigenous Arts Development project seeks to keep tradition alive by encouraging and stimulating participation in indigenous dance, music, theatre and storytelling activities, as well as promoting indigenous languages and preserving the authenticity of indigenous cultural expressions.

The project will culminate in October with various festivals, showcasing the best indigenous performances as identified at the regional Eisteddfod activities in the Eastern Cape (Xhosa culture), Kwazulu Natal (Zulu culture), Free State (Qwa-Qwa) (Sotho culture), Limpopo (Venda, Tsonga and Pedi cultures), North West (Tswana culture), Mpumalanga (Ndebele culture), Northern Cape (Nama, San, Coloureds & Tswana) and Gauteng (diverse cultures).

12 regional facilitators were appointed to identify possible participants for the festival, to provide or facilitate training in indigenous arts practices and to co-ordinate festival activities in their respective provinces.

They are:

Interested Individuals and groups may enter free of charge, in any of the Indigenous art and home-grown art categories. However, it is important that they familiarise themselves with the categories that are offered by referring to the NEA Indigenous arts prospectus, which is available from the NEA office or the regional representatives. Participants that need support with verifying the authenticity of their performance regarding regalia, style of music, dance / movement should contact their regional Representative / Facilitator.

Adjudication of performances will happen at a selected venue in each region and each participant / group will receive a certificate and a written feedback report from adjudicators. On the recommendations of the adjudicators the best performers of the various events could be invited to perform at special Showcase events that will acknowledge the best performers in the region.

Indigenous art is performed by indigenous people that lived in a place long before other people came to live there; in South Africa this particularly refers to the San and Nama people. However, the many cultures that are now considered indigenous to our country, although not in the same sense that the San and Nama were, brought their innate culture with them as they migrated south from various places since the 16th century. It is in this sense that indigenous art also refers to home-grown art. Home-grown art expresses the innate qualities that have developed and characterise the different people of our land.

Given the challenges of the urbanisation of people and urban influences, as well as the apparent low level of interest in performances in indigenous languages amongst the youth, it is important to find ways to promote and preserve indigenous arts practices so that people should know where they come from, where they are and where they are going. This project aims to keep tradition alive for generations to come by supporting communities – both urban and rural – to re-discover their roots and to preserve and promote pride in their cultural heritage.

In recent years the annual Eisteddfod activities of the NEA have attracted participation of more than 400 000 young performers in various regions and provinces. By extending this platform to indigenous performing arts activities in various communities, this project hopes to motivate the youth and make them aware of their latent talent.

Entry forms must be submitted before September 7, 2015.

For information please contact the NEA office at tel:

011 886 6005 / fax: 011 787 3534 / e-mail: info@eisteddfod.co.za and additional information is available on the website: www.eisteddfod.co.za Follow the NEA on Twitter @NEA_Eisteddfod or Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/nearsa

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