ResiliArt Tanzania: Challenges and the new normal in the Post Covid-19 era

 

This is a summary of the dialogue from The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development that was hosted by Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA), Midundo Online Radio in collaboration with the Cultural Development Department, Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports (MICAS), Tanzania on May 21, 2020 via Zoom.

Moderator

Allen Henjelelle

Allen is a culture journalist, musician, Atylist and event planner.  He is also a radio presenter with Midundo Online Radio

Introduction of all panelists

Dr. Emmanuel Temu

Dr. Temu is the Director of Cultural Development, Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports of Tanzania.

 Ayeta Anne Wangusa

Ayeta is a writer, communication specialist and the Executive Director of Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA)

 Taji Liundi

Taji has 17 years experience in MCing public events from government, corporates and development functions. In the 90s he was also pivotal in providing a platform for many upcoming musicians in Tanzania

 Gadi Ramadhani

Gadi is an artist, curator and exhibition producer. His areas of interest include art on social issues through multiple artistic disciplines.

 Caroline A. Uliwa

Caroline A. Uliwa is a culture journalist, with over 10 years experience writing in prominent newspapers/online publications . She is also a musician and poet.

 Shahbaaz  Sayed Yusuf

Shahbaaz  is a Tanzania awarding winning fashion designer and stylists. He is currently working for NIDA Textiles Ltd

 Safina Kimbokota

Safina Said Kimbokota is a contemporary sculptor and painter as well as a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam

 Amil  Shivji

Amil  is an award winning freelance filmmaker and lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam. He believes in using images to challenge the powers that be, in particular deconstructing urban facades of development and emphasizing the strength and struggles of marginalized communities.

 Remi Tone

Remi is Tanzanian Afro-fusion musician and co-founder of the Cocodo Band

 Can you explain how Covid-19 has affected your work?

  • Live music performances have been hit hardest due to the WHO and government’s guidelines on social distancing. Some artists have died due to stress
  • Artists who had gigs (performances) outside the country were cancelled
  • Fashion industry had a decrease in clientele and one of the panelists had to close his boutiques
  • The culture sector existence is dependent of on other development sectors thriving. With the collapse of sectors such as tourism, most artists especially in the visual arts and performance arts sector have found themselves in a vulnerable situation
  • Arts and cultural organizations that depend on development funding, have had their funding sources impacted, since they depend on funding organizations that are located in the Global North that is struggling with the Coronavirus pandemic
  1. How has Covid-19 changed the way you do business, access your market of develop the cultural sector
  • For Live performance, there has not been any change as the nature of their businesses is through attracting social gatherings. However, for Bongo Flava musicians their music can be accessed digital platforms
  • For CDEA, Covid-19 has just emphasized the importance of working in the digital space, but  there is need to develop a new business model
  • A recommendation was made on the need for artists to build their business models around the basis needs of society e.g. health, agriculture because the cultural sector is viewed a luxurious sector. The idea is when people are healthy and well fed,  then they can afford to pay for cultural goods and services which are luxuries –Art for art’s sake
  1. What policies or regulations need to be in place in order to meet the needs of the new Normal –Post Covid-19 Era
  • Recommended Policy Interventions
  • Revision of the creative arts curriculum to prepare students for the new market. This should place emphasis on the use of technology in value chain development -creation, production, marketing, distribution and access
  • Support Fashion designers with Tanzania Medicines and Medical Devices Authority (TMDA) certification with soft loans so that they can produce masks to enable Tanzanians have easy access during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Provide capacity development in domestic audience development, since the tourist market and the gigs abroad have been disrupted -Buy Tanzanian Buy Tanzania
  • Need for Tanzania to engage in AU, EAC, SADC and global processes in order to promote market access opportunities for cultural goods, services and activities
  • There is need artists to engage with government (BASATA, COSOTA and Film Board) in policy dialogues so that  government and artists can work together in solidarity to promote freedom of artistic expression
  • Need for government to support arts and cultural organizations, that are predominately supported by donors/development partners, to benefit from a solidarity fund so that they do not collapse
  • Government should engage with creative businesses from a private sector perspective, through the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, and through BASATA for arts development
  • Need for the Government of Tanzania to establish an endowment fund for artists, arts and culture organizations and invite Tanzanians to invest in it, in order to reverse the trend of organization that promote culture (the soul of the nation) being predominately funded by donors/development organizations

Recommended Regulations

  • There is need for a strategy to guide the arts and culture sector on how they resume their activities and businesses during this Covid-19 era (Live bands and social distancing, bars, discos) as well as planning for recovery in the Post Covid-19 era
  1. Response from Dr. Emmanuel Temu, Director of Culture Development Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports

 In order to address the lack of income for artists during the Covid-19  pandemic, the government is in process of ensuring royalties generated from other countries are collected and disbursed to artists

  • Government is also in process of engaging the private sector in order to find creative solutions for supporting the cultural sector
  • Government also has plans to meets artist groups, federations and stakeholders to get their views on how to address the crisis created by the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Artists are partners with government in cultural development, and should work together to identify local and international markets
  • With regards to supporting the cultural sector financially, the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports in the process of establishing a cultural fund
  • The Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports is also in the process of developing a disaster preparedness plan for the cultural sector
  • There is need to promote technology in education as well as the cultural value chain
  • Concluded by saying, “culture is the soft power of a nation. It is the soul that makes us know what it is that makes us Tanzanians. Therefore the promotion of culture is the responsibility of everyone –Government, artists, arts and cultural organizations.”

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