Cultural infrastructures



Consultation workshop : What type of cultural infrastructure in the city of Bujumbura

From January 18th to 19th 2023, a consultation workshop on the type of cultural infrastructure in the city of Bujumbura was held. This meeting, organized by Africalia within the framework of the European project to support the cultural sector in Burundi (PASACC-Bu), brought together professionals from the cultural sector, representatives of public institutions concerned with cultural infrastructure issues, including the Ministry responsible for culture, the Ministry of Trade in charge of the tourism sector, the Mayor of Bujumbura, as well as technical and financial partners.

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Through round tables, group work, and a plenary session, the two-day workshop focused mainly on four major themes :

  • The genesis of creating an artistic and cultural space : towards defining a positioning
  • The programming of an artistic and cultural space : proposal of activities for a future space in Bujumbura
  • The type of governance : what administrative and financial management of a potential cultural space ?
  • The design of a cultural space : how to combine the different uses of space

During these round tables, interactions with participants raised concerns and collected contributions, particularly on the process and modes of creating infrastructure, management modes, and the importance of formulating a shared vision by stakeholders.

Kira Claude Guingané, Director of the Gambidi Cultural Space (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso), said that "the strength of the desire in the success of a cultural infrastructure project (80%) is much more important than financial resources (20%)".

"To build a community, you have to start with what the community already knows and introduce innovations progressively. For example, in Burundi, we must start with the Burundi drum," emphasized Marwane FACHANE, General Director of the HIBA Foundation - (Rabat, Morocco).

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For Dida Nibagwire, Founder of L’Espace (Kigali, Rwanda), "the initial difficulties should not detract from the commitment to such an important project as the establishment of cultural infrastructure, in the context of our countries".

Several examples of synergies and complementarities between cultural space and artistic programming were raised during the exchanges.

Thus, Alain Amrah Horutanga, Manager of the [Izuba Center cultural center>] (Bujumbura, Burundi), indicated that different groups request spaces for their activities, allowing the center to have a richer and more regular program.

Freddy Sabimbona, Director of Buja sans Tabou (BST) Space and Founder of a Theater Festival in Burundi, discussed his space’s experience in training and creation, starting from the example of shows on the history of the four districts of Bujumbura.

Thinking about the creation of a cultural space also involves questioning its architecture and design. Through this last round table, models of construction of cultural spaces were explored to inspire the cultural infrastructure project in the city of Bujumbura.

Mr. Khalid Tamer, Director of the [Lavoir Moderne Parisien Theater>], Founder of
Africapitales, emphasized that the importance of design and the creation of a brand should both be objectives for cultural operators.

The implementation of the roadmap, the strengthening of the commitment of all Burundian cultural operators to share a common vision for the creation of cultural infrastructure, the affirmation of the availability of cultural operators to facilitate the realization of a feasibility study to confirm existing status forms in Burundi, operating models, and proposed financing modes, as well as the organization of a methodological workshop aimed at formulating the project for the creation of cultural infrastructure in Bujumbura, are the resolutions and recommendations on which this two-day workshop ended.