January 17, 2018

The 10th edition of the MASA presented at the ACP House

The 10th edition of the MASA, African Performing Arts Market, will be held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from March 10 to 17, 2018 and will celebrate its 25 years of existence at the same time. Its Director General, Professor Yacouba Konaté, presented at the ACP Secretariat the 2018 edition, accompanied by Laurence Chilimboyi from the ACP Secretariat and Frédéric Jaquemin, Director of Africalia and partner of the event.

This 10th edition will be part of the original project of the MASA, becoming a key event for the cultural development of African performing arts. This year, 74 groups from Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and the Pacific were selected. Seven disciplines of the performing arts will be represented: music, dance, theater, storytelling, humor, street arts and slam. An opportunity for both cultural operators and the general public to become acquainted with the diversity of the living arts but also with the wealth of the contemporary artistic scenes from all continents.

The theme of this edition "What economic models for the performing arts?" Will raise the issue of sustainable financing of culture in Africa.

"In the recent years MASA has changed. If in 2014, 70% of the budget came from the OIF, in 2018 70% of the budget comes from the Ivorian State, the municipality of Abidjan, private funds and sponsors", commented Yacouba Konaté. "We have also expanded our partnerships to Latin America, Mexico and the United States. The Mayor of Brooklyn will be traveling as part of a twinning project with Abidjan. In addition, I am particularly proud to have companies from Liberia and Sierra Leone, countries in difficulty, but with strong resilience."

The novelties of this 10th edition are in the continuity of the 2016 edition: more room for humor, with shows in places that can gather up to 10,000 people, more street shows, speed meetings, scenic readings, a women's program, training programs for festival directors and youth programming. MASA will also organize high-level conferences, including the presentation of a study on mobility presented by the OIF, the 2nd meeting of performing arts professionals from the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa and the presentation of a copyright study on a global scale. For the second time, fashion is also part of the program.

"We will also expand the ticketing system, especially for shows organized as part of the "MASA off", to have more entries and be less dependent on private subsidies", explained Konaté.

The MASA is unquestionably a showcase of contemporary creation in Africa, bringing a unique added value to the programmed companies. "It is difficult to follow up on the contracts signed by the companies", explains Konaté. "The groups do not always give the information and we discover by chance that this or that other company has signed a contract with broadcasters. In March 2017, we had the certainty that 71 contracts had been signed, which is an feat for our market", he concludes.

In closing the presentation session of the 2018 edition of MASA, Laurence Chilimboyi confirmed that the ACP Secretariat is increasingly committed to culture. In November 2017, the ACP Secretariat organized the 4th ACP Conference of Ministers of Culture. At the end of this conference, the Ministers approved a declaration in which they recalled the importance of culture as a factor of economic and social development. Speaking of the importance of MASA for the development of African performing arts, Laurence Chilimboyi cited Article 26 of the Brussels Declaration which calls on the ACP states to "support cultural events and festivals as key factors for peace, social cohesion and integration, and as tools for the production and dissemination of cultural goods."

To discover the selected companies, visit the MASA website. Click here  to download the Brussels Declaration of ACP Ministers of Culture.

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