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The Syltfoundation is proud to partner with Toonda in community arts projects.
The Cultural Community Centre Toonda (from Swahili "to create") offers local people the
opportunity to meet, to experiment, to exchange art and culture in the rural environment of Western
Uganda. It is a place for an open exchange of ideas, creative processes and cooperation between
people of different cultures. Toonda is a place for all ages, independent of education, a place where
different local groups can also meet or where new groups can emerge.
Toonda consists of one hectare of land in Kyakataama, about 45 minutes from Fort Portal at the
crater lakes. It includes a dormitory for volunteers and/or artist groups, a social room, a kitchen,
toilets, a stage and a meadow with a campfire site.
Rayka Kobiella, born in 1980 in Quaal, Schleswig-Holstein, studied literature and ethnology. She is a writer, theatre maker and activist and walks synergistically between theatre, performances & community work. In her work she explores our understanding of proximity and isolation, of understanding and misunderstanding in private as well as socio-political space. As a playwright and director, she has created plays such as "Akzentfrei" and "Wagen 10 - Eine Flüchtlingsbiografie" in Hamburg, "Life is overrated" and "Vestiges" in NYC, "Cut Into Pieces" in London. In the interdisciplinary collaboration "Killing Letters" with sculptor Anna Myga Kasten about killed journalists, she wrote the text.
Extended travels have taken her as a freelance writer and theatre-maker to New York, London, Denmark, Uganda, Morocco, South Africa and Southeast Asia, among other places. Since 2018, she has been the initiator and curator of the cultural centre and Think Tank "Toonda" in rural Uganda. She is a member of the performance company Label Gray NYC, the FREE(AK) SHOW (Uganda-Germany) and founded the performance collective for new music and text in an intercultural context DissOPERAlusion (Hamburg) together with Dr. Yijie Wang.
© Aung Myat Htay (artist, writer, curator, Myanmar)
Survival in the Arts. Virtual Think Tank
An open platform for exchange between conceptual and video artists and curators about the changing art environment, about art in these times. An opportunity to network digitally, to introduce oneself, to exchange ideas, to motivate and to persevere as an artist.
2020 has been a horrible year for artists thanks to Corona and the restrictions that came with it. Without presentation opportunities such as exhibitions, a source of income fell away. Projects could not be realised and fees were cancelled, resulting in existentially threatening restrictions. We want to come together in our Think Tank, network artists with each other, motivate them and think together about how things can continue for artists. How limited is the digital world and how much can it replace immediate, physical access to art? How can it continue for artists after or with Corona? What will change for artists in the course of 2021? Can art continue to be produced under such an existential threat and thus mental strain? Non-artists often have the idea that good artists are all sad fellows. But how much grief, stress and anxiety can an artist take? Can the art world "art its way out" of Corona?
This idea of open discussion across national borders directly excited all the artists. There is a longing to exchange ideas about the problems of our time, to perceive the changes in the environment, to get new energy and to fight for their own artistic survival.
Artists and curators come together for a Jour Fix and discuss the current situation. At the beginning of the Think Tank, all the artists introduce themselves to the public. Afterwards, we get together among ourselves. In summer there will be another opportunity for a public online meeting with the public and in December a final online exhibition is planned.
First public event in February 2021.
Second public meeting in July 2021.
Virtual exhibition in December 2021.
Anna Myga Kasten, sculptor, Germany
Aung Myat Htay, artist, writer, curator, Myanmar
Jaco van Schalkwyk, South Africa
Macri Cáceres, Peru
Mandy Coppes Martin, South Africa/UK
Minnette Vari, video artist, South Africa
Sparrow, Graffiti artist, Uganda
Thu Kim Vhu, artist, Vietnam
Curator, author and literary scholar
Indra Wussow, Sylt Foundation, South Africa
Director of Toonda Cultural Community Center, author
Rayka Gerberding-Kobiella, Toonda e.V., Uganda
Supported by The German Embassy of Uganda
We have been working and building on the project since 2018. In April 2021 everything will be
ready and in the summer holidays it will be opened with a big festival and the idea will be brought
to the villagers. Even though many tourists and thus different cultures travel to the Fort Portal
region (at least until the Corona eruption), the locals have little more contact with them than a
shouted "How are you!". However, the interest in getting to know people from other nations,
learning from successful, educated Ugandans and the wish to try things out is a great desire here.
However, the possibilities to set up a Community Centre themselves and invite people who are
interested in the community are not given due to financial, time and space constraints.
The Community Centre should therefore be a kind of gift for Kyakataama and the surrounding area.
A place for encouragement, support and getting to know each other. Here you can try out new
things and in this way get to know new things and people from other cultures and educate yourself
in different areas - and also simply have fun.
will take place from 19 August - 12 September 2021. From Thursdays to Sundays there will be a fixed programme with different workshops by artists and their presentations. During the week and during the day, "leaders" of the region, such as the District Counselor of Ruteete Murungi, discuss with children and young people about their dreams and fears, visions of the future versus reality. In addition, the Community Centre is open as a social room for various projects and groups in the village, and is to be established, for example, with writing and reading lessons for adults or farming seminars.
The Sylt Foundation is part of the programme and supports artists Mandy Coppes-Martin, Thu Kim Vu and Tumi Mokgope to visit Toonda and do workshops at the community centre. Also Indra Wussow will give storytelling workshops.