Pro Helvetia Winter Programme Launches

By MapMyWay
13 June 2018

Pro Helvetia Celebrates 20 Years of World-Class Cultural Exchange in Southern Africa

In celebration of two decades of artistic and cultural exchange between Switzerland and Southern Africa, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia Johannesburg proudly launches the 2018 Winter Programme.

Artists and practitioners from 5 countries descend on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the highly anticipated line-up of interdisciplinary performances and exhibitions that unfold in an extensive tour over June and July. Designed to advance creative innovation and develop cultural networks, Pro Helvetia’s Winter Programme features a rich line-up of new and collaborative works by influential artists from Madagascar, Mozambique, Lesotho, South Africa and Switzerland.

The Winter Programme features a world-class selection of jazz, dance, contemporary art and installations in an expansive web of venues designed to cultivate audiences, develop cultural exchange and connect communities throughout June and July 2018. With a strong presence at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Pro Helvetia’s Winter Programme makes visible a distinguished track record of engagement in the Southern African region with an array of projects characterised by both challenge and surprise. In an effort to engage with a broad spectrum of audiences and offer those who cannot go to Grahamstown a chance to experience the Festival in their own city, the Winter Programme travels these Festival performances to Antananarivo, Maputo, Cape Town, King Williams Town, Durban and Johannesburg.

The range of performances and exhibitions on offer combine to form a dynamic journey offering a platform for exploration, discovery and engagement for artists and audiences alike. With a focus on generating dialogue and interchange, the 2018 Winter Programme features a series of insightful workshops and panel discussions that blend to achieve greater creative development among communities.

Pro Helvetia 2018 Winter Programme in Cape Town

B(l)(e)(e)(n)ding(s) is an on-going research project based on collaborative experiences and field recordings, since 2015 in Southern Africa (South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique) by Swiss artist and electroacoustic composer Luca Forcucci. The more one immerses oneself in the recordings, the more one comes to appreciate Forcucci’s attention to detail and how artfully he’s arranged the sounds. His work evokes an impending danger by means of his resonant and imposing heavy “voice” and his effect on sonic spheres. The music generates feelings associated with the sense of loss and the act of creation, things that usually anticipate the rising of new times. Visit

Artists/Performers: Luca Forucci (Switzerland), Cara Stacey (South Africa), Mpho Molikeng (Lesotho)
18 – 20 June Electroacoustic festival and conference “Bowed Electrons”
Hosted by the University of Cape Town’s South African College of Music
21 June GUS Gallery of the University of Stellenbosch
22 June Pan African Space Station / Cape Town

Hildegard Lernt Fliegen – Hildegard Learns To Fly

Hildegard Lernt Fliegen (see photo above)is an ambitious and daring sextet that features some of Europe’s top jazz musicians. The group formed in 2005 under the leadership of Andreas Schaerer, the Swiss vocalist and musical magician who can deploy a range of sounds from steam punk lyrics to mimics of other instruments to a repertoire of unusual sound effects. Hildegard’s sound is often superficially anarchic but the arrangements, sliding from interlocking rhythms to free jazz and back again, call for total control and discipline. The band is committed to responding to Schaerer’s demands with full immersion, whether performing straight-ahead swing or traversing into a Stravinsky-visits-vaudeville passage of fearsome complexity. Hildegard Lernt Fliegen is on a quest for musical ingenuity and walks a continuous tightrope between jazzy exuberance and quirky humour. Visit

2 July at Norval Foundation
3 July at Joseph Stone Auditorium

“Hamlet” (see lead photo above) is not a retelling of Shakespeare’s play but uses Shakespeare’s material as a mask with which to reflect on identity, individuality, delusion and reality. In a mixture of experimental documentary performance and queer music-theatre, the performer and electro-musician Julian Meding takes on the role of a contemporary Hamlet rebelling against reality in which he reveals himself, his body, and his biography to the eyes of the audience. Is it even Meding? Or is it Hamlet? Is everything just a game? To be or not to be? Or both at the same time? “Hamlet” is all about poetic revolt: raw, coarse-grained, confrontational, anti-social and dazzling.  Visit
4 and 5 July at Little Theatre, Institute for the Creative Arts, University of Cape Town