Agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports Mimeta’s work and strategy. The parties entered into a frame-work agreement at the end of 2010, valid over a three year period. The agreement is geographically limited to Africa and the Middle East. The target groups are service providers to the arts- and creative sectors. The purpose of the agreement is to strengthen structures through organization, information and advocacy, through platforms and mobility and through the development of creative economies.
Since the beginning of 2011 Mimeta have signed agreements with KYA network (Mali), Busara Promotions (Zanzibar), Kuona Trust (Kenya), Nhimbe (Zimbabwe), Culture Resource (Al Mawred, Egypt) , Bayimba Cultural Foundation (Uganda) and FAME! (Malawi). We are also prolonging our cooperation with Art Moves Africa (Pan-African), ARTerial Network (Pan-African), APAC (Bolivia) and African Synergy (Zimbabwe and SA).
Collaboration Cecilie Melli and Basecamp Maasai Brand (BMB)
Mimeta visited BMB in the Masai Mara, Kenya last week together with profiled Norwegian designer Cecilie Melli. BMB was set up in 2003 to empower women in the Talek region of the Masai Mara, and to maintain and enhance the handicraft traditions and designs of the famous Masai bead works. The BMB initiative includes 118 women. Mimeta is participating in this by engaging Cecilie Melli to collaborate and further investigate into developing products targeting the Scandinavian market. Cecilie designed six products with BMB and these products will be available for sale from late May.
Culture and Urban Development
Nairobi City and Metropolitan are in the process to create a master plan, embracing the country’s 2030 vision, and making Nairobi a World Class City. This vision 2030 is limited as the role and possibilities from arts and culture has not been included. Between 21st and 25th of March, Mimeta and the GoDown Arts Centre with support from the Swedish Institute arranged a series of workshops with city council, local government, UN Habitat, artists, cultural organizations, creative industries to explore cultural sector relations to the development of the city. We invited the Culture Centre in Stockholm and the Swedish Museum of Architecture to participate in these workshops to share their experiences and how Stockholm and Sweden view the scope of culture and urban development. These workshops was designed and facilitated by White Architects who have an assignment from the GoDown looking to develop their premises. It was acknowledged that preserving cultural heritage buildings and supporting the establishment of a cultural zone could be two critical initiatives to place Nairobi as a world class city. The UN Habitat proposed to partner with the GoDown and White Architects to continue this conversation with Nairobi City and investigate if this process can be show cased at the World Urban Forum 2012.
Economy of Creativity
Mimeta has since 2009 partnered with the GoDown Arts Centre in the process ‘Economy of Creativity’ with the objective in deepening our understanding of the creative and cultural industries in Kenya and improve awareness of the sector amongst business leaders and government officials. This process has contributed to an initiative from the Kenyan ministry of Information and Communication recognizing the scope of the creative and cultural industries to stimulate entrepreneurship and job creation. The ministry has put together a Creative Economy Task Force with representatives from the media, film, animation, arts and music sectors in Kenya. The task force is governed under the Kenyan ICT Board, implementing and utilizing ICT infrastructure for development of the country. On March 23rd Mimeta met with the task force, sharing the experiences and learning’s from the process with the GoDown. The task force will be officially launched on the 6th of April in Nairobi.
Swedish members of parliament visit to Kristiansand & Mimeta
The cultural committee of the Swedish parliament visited Kristiansand and Mimeta in February 2011. The municipality and county have progressively invested in culture and arts both locally and through its partnership with Mimeta, which was the subject of interest for the cultural committee.
Aïda Muluneh exhibition
Mimeta have in collaboration with Belgium foundation Africalia, Vest-Agder County and Christiansand Arts association presented the expressive photo exhibition of Aïda Muluneh: Ethiopia: Past// forward. A hundred people turned up for the opening and the exhibition have received great reviews from the press. A smaller selection of this exhibition has also toured schools in Vest-Agder County (http://vaf.ksys.no/pub/vaf/main/?aid=9282&cid=567).
Iranian artist Mahsa Vahdat and Norwegian producer Erik Hillestad have been translating one hundred Hafez poems into Norwegian. Forlaget Press (publishers) released the poems in both Persian and Norwegian language in a gorgeous book “Vinspeilet” which recently was awarded “The most beautiful book of the year” by Grafill – a Norwegian organization for visual communication (http://www.fpress.no/index.php?ID=Nyheter&counter=160).
The poems were performed by Mahsa Vahdat and Norwegian choir SKRUK. This collaboration was recorded and the CD “I vinens speil” was released by Kirkelig Kulturverksted.
Stunning concerts (“I vinens speil”) have been set up at several venues in Norway, among them during the International Church Festival in Kristiansand and on Lindesnes National Lighthouse museum. The performance has also been touring schools in Vest-Agder County (http://vaf.ksys.no/ksys/?eid=0&fid=0&kid=0&sid=0&lag=&hag=&cri=&typ=0&vie=prd&fil=&pid=9485&sam=8A25E135E31B5C297CDA9714C0887895#top_7092).
Where do we go from Tahrir?
Mimeta is launching a new concept named Mimeta Monologues where we will set up lectures with interesting guests from our partners. The first appearance will be presenting Basma El Husseiny – an arts manager and a cultural activist who has been involved in supporting independent cultural projects and organizations in the Arab region for the past 20 years.
Basma is a UNESCO expert in cultural governance and was previously the Media, Arts & Culture Program Officer for the Ford Foundation in the Middle East and North Africa, and the Arts Manager of the British Council in Egypt. Basma has also worked as a theatre director, script-writer, organizer of cultural events and arts critic and reviewer. She is also active in the women's rights movement in Egypt and has initiated and participated in campaigns to enhance women's participation in public life. Basma El Husseiny is currently the managing director of Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy), a regional non-profit organization that aims at supporting young artists and writers, and stimulating cultural exchange within the Arab region and with the world. She has also co-funded and is a trustee of the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture, an independent regional foundation.
Under the theme “Where do we go from Tahrir?” Basma El Husseiny will be telling stories from the days of the revolution, how she sees the participation and role of “the creative class” – and how she view the Arabic/ Egyptian democratic movement in the process forward.
Kick Café, Kristiansand Tuesday 26th April at 21:00
Litteraturhuset, Oslo Wednesday 27th April at 20:00
Södra Teatern, Stockholm Thursday 28th April at 19:00