Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF) returns this year after a year of absence with local talents expected to lead the fiesta which has for years been dominated by international artists.
Last year the festival failed to take place due to lack of sponsorship, however this time around the situation is different as organizers revealed the corporate world is swiftly backing the festival’s revival.
BAF Executive Director, Thom Chibambo said they were pleased with response from corporate world in supporting the festival.
“Last year we failed to hold the festival due to financial constraints. But this year, we are happy with how the corporate world has shown interest to have the festival back. We are hoping this year it will be great,” said Chibambo.
Chibambo said unlike past festivals, this year local acts especially urban artists would dominate the fiesta as one way of empowering local talents.
“This year it will be raw with local artists to dominate the festival. We might have an international act, but that is not a priority. We are seriously engaging local artists to ensure the festival lives up to its billing of being locally done,” added Chibambo.
The festival is expected to run from 1st October to 8th at Blantyre Culture Centre with street carnival to spice up the event. The festival will be made possible with initial support from Hivos through Cultural Fund for Malawi.
BAF is expected to be characterized by theatre, traditional dances, music, art display, workshops as well as film screening.
BAF was initiated in 2009 to consolidate and promote Malawian arts and culture through interactive events and capacity building initiatives that lead to artistic liberation and socio-economic empowerment.
The festival aims at providing capacity building for the local creative industries and develop culture in the country on a sustainable basis, provides an annual platform for artists from Malawi and abroad to showcase their talent and to interact with each other and the audience, developing sustainable audiences for all art disciplines and coming from urban and rural areas as well as providing an opportunity to the artists and arts practitioners of interacting through local, regional and international collaborations.