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European Union pledges support to art

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The European Union (EU) has said it will promote and support the country’s art sector so that it continues to unite people of different cultures and help create jobs.

Acting Head of EU Delegation in Malawi, Aurelie Valtat, made the remarks at Four Seasons in Lilongwe on Friday during the official launch of Art in the Park Visual Arts Exhibition, organised by Wildlife Environmental Society of Malawi (Wesm).

“Art is universal language. For us as Europeans, it is really about building bridges between Malawians and Europeans and finding common ground. Culture and art is the perfect way to speak when we don’t speak the same language,” Valtat said.

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She added: “We think that there is potential for Malawian artists to create their own jobs, develop an industry and this is why we would like to make sure that Malawian art is very visible.”

Director of Arts in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Humphrey Mpondaminga, said the industry is currently experiencing a number of challenges, with Covid heavily affecting activities by artists.

“It has not been easy. As you know it has been over a year since we were hit by Covid. It has been very tough for the sector. The sector relies on informal set-ups. We are happy that in recent weeks, artists are coming out to perform,” Mpondaminga said.

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He said the government is currently planning a number of programmes to support artists and the creative industry.

“In terms of infrastructure development, we are still working on Blantyre Cultural Centre to ensure that it is completed. Our interest is in ensuring that the facility hosts even visual arts, other than just performing arts,” he said.

One of the artists, Andy Nkosi, said he appreciates strides being made in the sector.

“For the past two years, people have started recognising artists. Functions like these are very important. We are now getting the exposure,” Nkosi said.

The exhibition, which attracted close to 50 visual artists, ended Sunday.

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