|Manuel Bagorro steps down|
|Wednesday, 25 April 2012 00:00|
A: I feel that I can be of most service to the festival as a board member and as an “Artistic Director at Large”. Being out of the country for long periods of time allows me to generate interest and engage participation that enriches the quality of programming of Hifa.
This will be the best use of my skills and experience while allowing Hifa to enter a new and exciting period of fresh artistic vision. Having a new artistic director based in Harare will allow new perspectives as well as continuity in the artistic section of the festival.
Q. Who is taking your place?
A: We have not decided who will step in as the new artistic director but we look forward to making an announcement on that in the not too distant future.
Q: Will Hifa not suffer with your departure?
A: Absolutely not. This is an exciting opportunity for the organisation to embrace a new artistic vision while honouring Hifa’s heritage. It is an opportunity to further encourage innovation and engage new audiences.
Q: What will the new situation mean for Hifa?
A: It will mean that the festival still has the benefit of all the contacts I meet as part of my work on the international arts circuit as well as the involvement of a highly committed new artistic director based in Harare who will ensure the quality of artistic expression and collaboration continues to be the major focus for the organisation.
Q: What exactly do you do when you are not in Zimbabwe
A: From the time I graduated from the Zimbabwe College of Music and went on for further coaching as a concert pianist, I have been involved in the arts industry in many different ways.
Alongside my performing career, I developed a strong interest in arts consultancy — starting with a festival in my home country, the Harare International Festival of the Arts.
This consultancy work has continued and I work as an arts consultant for organisations in New York City as well as serving as the artistic director of a music festival in Maine.
This work involves partnership with many international organisations and groups which in turn supports our aim of bringing the best quality music, theatre, dance, visual arts, craft and spoken word to Hifa each year.
Q: Are you saying Hifa is not your source of livelihood?
A: No it is not. The fact that I consult elsewhere has allowed me to be freer to serve Hifa better. This is also made possible by the team of absolutely exceptional Zimbabweans who work in the Hifa offices throughout the year.
Hifa is my service to my country; we all have ways in which we can contribute to our country in whatever field we find ourselves, in whatever way we can, however small it may be. Hifa is my small contribution to the monumental efforts that others put in for the benefit of Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans.
Q: For you, what has been the highlight of your tenure as Hifa Artistic Director ?
A: The festival this year represents the collective learning and experience as an organisation and of each creative person involved in making Hifa the magical event that it is.
The highlight for me is having been able to work as part of an extraordinary team whose efforts will surely offer Zimbabwean audiences a major 2012 festival of which we can all be immensely proud.
Q: What is your vision for Hifa’s future and that of the arts in general?
A: I hope that Hifa will continue to have a meaningful and positive impact on the capacity building efforts within the Zimbabwean artistic community.
I hope that the festival will continue to engage the hearts and minds of artistes, partners and audiences as it has so powerfully done in the last 12 years. Finally, I hope that Hifa will be a shining and strong thread in the fabric of Zimbabwe’s increasingly rich and diverse creative life.
Q: In your view, what needs to be done so that Zimbabwean artistes take their rightful place on the world stage?
A: I think that it is important that artistes use platforms like Hifa to present their finest work for the broadest possible audience. If artistes continue to invest their energies into the quality of the work that they do, they will stand the best possible chance to share their artistry with the rest of the world.
I believe there is an intense international interest in Zimbabwean artistic products and if we all continue to produce exceptional work and communicate compellingly with all the cultural stakeholders that engage with Zimbabwe, it is only a question of time until Zimbabwean artistes achieve the high profile that they richly deserve.
Indeed many have already done the country proud and shown just how much creative skill and potential exists within our borders.