Introduction to IFAA 2012

IFAA 2012, (International cross - disciplinary Festival and Artists in residency platform) will be realized as a pilot project in Louvain-la-Neuve Belgium, through the cooperation of asbl Au Fil de la Terre with Thamgidi Foundation, and IFAA from the Netherlands, with the purpose of facilitating and strengthening knowledge exchange. The IFAA project is brought to Belgium through the invitation of Jeanne - Marie Tosolini, Director of asbl Au Fil de la Terre, to the Thamgidi Foundation, with the purpose of creating a Cross – disciplinary Art Platform that will facilitate and strengthen international cooperation, beginning in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

Producers of 2012 IFAA in Belgium: Au fil dela Terre and Thamgidi Thamgidi Foundation

Artistic director: S’thabile Mlotshwa

Theme: Communication- Exchange, Dialogue & Art

“Our task is simply to be like a transparent web, through which pass those things which are given” Koulsy Lamko, extract from a documentary the Missing Book by FrouwkjeSmit.

In order to examine and engage in this subject we invite artists and scholars of different disciplines.

Questions we propose for reflection are:

•What are the missing links in communication and what impact do these have?
•Does language in all its facets hinder or limit fruitful - communication?
•How can artists, scholars and the public respond or contribute to this discourse
•Since Communication is central to the on-going processes of culture and society, how does a breach in communication affect these processes?
•Does internet contribute to widening the gap of inequality between different parts of the world?
•What are the unseen obstacles and or possibilities internet and the digital age can offer?
•While internet technology seems to have broken the physical borders of communication, has it at the same time become a communication barrier to those unable to access it creating a huge development backlog and vice versa?
•Although the ability to communicate is bringing about great changes in our world, how can we utilize ready available communication possibilities to bridge the gap in communication, to create more access, to build and preserve knowledge resources that can answer the challenges facing our world today and most importantly bring about change in the way we treat our environment?

The IFAA artists in residency will therefore bring together creators based in different parts of the globe – to Louvain la Neuve in order to reflect on and respond to the above mentioned questions. Because art and artists have the power to inspire change, the take-off point will be based on sharing knowledge, through cross disciplinary collaborations that can foster fruitful dialogue.

The intention is to permeate the results of this intensive collaboration into the public domain through the form of an international exhibition, projects in public space, a table of discussions, international conference, documentation, the website, social networks, public debates and a festival.

About IFAA

IFAA is an (International cross - disciplinary Festival and Artists in Residency Platform) that takes place in different cities across the globe. Founded in Arnhem, the Netherlands by Thamgidi Foundation and produced by artistic director S’thabile Mlotshwa, its purpose is core to facilitate intercultural artistic exchanges, critical dialogue, debates and cross- disciplinary collaborations that lead to building and sharing of knowledge and the strengthening of intellectual activity. The IFAA Art Platform serves as a “melting pot” of cultures, bringing together diverse communities, artists, thinkers and arts organizations. IFAA greatly values the sharing of knowledge through mutual respect and seeks to strengthen the Celebrating of a Culture of Cultures.

Form of the project

IFAA has a 3 months artist in residency which is done through cross – disciplinary collaborations, including debates, public space projects, conferences, educational program for schools, a festival that includes film, story telling, poetry, performing arts, music, multi-cultural food and fashion. The outcome of the 3 months artist in residency will culminate in a (1 month) exhibition with the main focus on public space and accompanied by a catalogue and website.

Why IFAA 2012 in Belgium?

The need to facilitate and strengthen Knowledge Sharing on an international level came as a result of a dialogue with Jeanne-Marie Tosolini, representative of (asbl Au Fil de la Terre), whose desire since our meeting in 2008 during the IFAA project in Arnhem the Netherlands, has been to realize (IFAA in Belgium). Sharing the same vision of the value cross – cultural exchange has in creating reservoirs of knowledge, the association Au Fil de la Terre considers that Louvain la Neuve is ready to create this kind of concept: The events the association created in the city in the past, to some extent, have led to IFAA 2012. The specificities of the city: the university, different graduate schools, different high schools, companies, business, societies that focus on specific research due to the university, its several conferences and cultural activities, create a particular surrounding to facilitate such a platform. The characteristic of Louvain-la-Neuve offers, a strong base to create a center of international artistic exchanges and needs cooperation between Belgian institutions, with Thamgidi Foundation and IFAA in order to realize this vision.

The goal of our cooperation is to create an International IFAA Art Platform in Louvain la Neuve, which will act as a “melting pot”, for attracting local and international artists at the same time facilitate artistic exchange s that strengthen the building and sharing of knowledge.