Local cultural, trade and tourism stakeholders have been called upon to support the establishment of the First African Art Space in Asia to best put Botswana’s picture as vivid and promising for potential investors as possible.
The purpose of the House of African Art (HAA!) is to allow the Japanese public to discover the dynamism of a continent that has preserved its deeply rooted traditions while giving birth to innumerable creative geniuses.
“Putting Africa in a positive light and emphasizing its rich arts and culture, HAA! will contribute to a much needed change in the general Japanese perception of the continent,” said Thabiso Mashaba, interim chairperson of Arterial Network Botswana.
He said this will put Botswana and the rest of Africa in a positive light by emphasizing its rich art and culture and will contribute to a much needed change in the general Japanese perception of the continent.
Mashaba said the economic and political plights that Botswana and many African countries are facing cannot be underestimated. Moreover, such portrayals do not do justice to the efforts of Africa’s dynamic civil society, in which artists often play a very active and useful role.
He said HAA!’s ambition is to re-introduce Africa to Japan, through the beauty, energy and spirituality of African arts, both traditional and contemporary, as well as to provide a space for voices from Africa to tell their stories in their own words.
The need to create such an innovative art space has become apparent in light of the gap that has emerged between growing interest in Africa among the Japanese and the absence of a permanent institution to satisfy this curiosity.
Japanese businesses have also shown a renewed interest in the continent since the inauguration of Africa. HAA! will be the first African artistic and cultural space in Asia.
Mashaba said the house is expected to be ready to inaugurate the art space in 2013, when all African leaders are gathered in Japan on the occasion of the fifth edition of Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), held every 5 years.