Harare International Festival of the Arts- International Event
By Bezawit Shewarega, August 01, 2019
Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA) is a 6-day annual festival and workshop programme that showcases the very best of local, regional and international arts and culture in a comprehensive festive programme of theatre, dance, music, circus, street performance, fashion, spoken word and visual arts. There is more to HIFA than just performances. It has come to be an important symbol of something positive about Zimbabwe, unifying socially and culturally disparate groups of Zimbabweans at a time of ideological conflict and political uncertainty bringing huge audiences together to celebrate something positive – the healing and constructive capacity of the arts.
For a nation like Zimbwabwe that has for long been in deep political instabilities, the explosion of artistic creativity unleashed by HIFA brings light and hope and banishes darkness and despair. It enables the people of Zimbabwe to show the world their resilience and strength in the face of adversity. It enables them to show that this country is indeed unique in its character and its people’s qualities such as hospitality, generosity and friendship. It is a beacon to the world saying, come and share what makes our country great; come and share our brotherhood and sisterhood; come and share our love of the arts and humanity.
Harare International Festival of the Arts is probably the best organized festival in the sub-continent and one of the most manageably diverse. Since its inception in 1999, it has received recognition for its support of arts and culture in Zimbabwe and is seen as a major contributor to development in this area, and its largest arts initiative.
The Festival powerfully engages local, regional and international recognition for Zimbabwe’s cultural diversity and capacity to achieve the highest standards of artistic presentation. It brings together corporate investors, embassy and donor partners, local and visiting artists, large and enthusiastic audiences, and the media. The Festival proudly and joyfully celebrates the best of Zimbabwe.
Due to several factors, HIFA will not stage the event in 2019 and will focus on new projects leading up to a major Festival in 2020. “The decision has been taken after much thought, soul-searching and discussion. Zimbabwe is dealing with many important issues, both social and economic,” the festival’s organizers explain, “In this context, we cannot responsibly commit to presenting a feasible and viable event this year of the same quality and impact that HIFA is known for.” The Festival will use this time to work on other projects, particularly in schools, to broaden and deepen the organization’s contribution to arts and cultural development.
The continent looks forward to celebrating the amazing Zimbabwean creative community. The event is scheduled to take place from 28 April-3 May 2020.