Playwright Phiri earns art residency

PHIRI—It’s an intensive art residency

Blantyre-based youthful playwright and actor Fumbani Phiri, who is a member of Youth Developers Collaboration (YDC) Theatre has landed himself an art residency which will run online.

A letter from the organisers of the art residency, has since congratulated Phiri for his selection.

“Thank you so much for the effort you’ve put into the application for the first cohort of Co-residency, and for taking the time to talk to us this week. Your work and application have inspired us,” reads the letter.


Michael Headrick, one of the members of the Co-Residency Team, said they received over 400 applications to the programme.

“The Co-Residency Community is building an online community of artists from around the world to continue working towards our mission of supporting creation amidst conflict. The cohort one artists will have a private channel to engage with each other, as well as public channels to engage with the wider community,” Headrick said.

He said cohort one was focused on the conflict and crisis the world was facing because of Covid -19 pandemic.


“We are now only seeing the start of how much this global crisis is impacting all areas of society. With much of the world under isolation, artists are not able to participate in the community and traditional residencies can no longer operate,” Headrick said.

Phiri, who has been involved in theatre in various areas with a focus on children’s theatre, said yesterday he was happy to have been selected for an art residency.

He is among 10 artists of various mediums from around the world set to participate in a 12 week online residency.

“I am excited to fly Malawi’s flag once again. It’s an intensive art residency where we will be having workshops and do some research. The beauty of it all is that I am not only representing Malawi but Africa since I am the only one in Africa,” Phiri said.

He said a friend from Germany asked him to send a proposal.

“My topic is on digital art expression on poignant-based on government and activism where I express the use of digital media during this time of isolation in a thematic of combining pieces from different theatre practitioners via online interaction and discussion based on Covid-19 pandemic awareness,” Phiri said.

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