Cultural Exchange

As the festival and CAC grow in notoriety nationally and internationally, CAC is presented with opportunities beyond the festival to encourage and empower Tanzanian artists. CAC has participated in cultural exchanges sponsoring trips abroad for Tanzanians as well as inviting and hosting non-Tanzanians in Chamwino village. These kinds of trips provide non-formal education, opening the eyes of their participants to new possibilities and allowing them to connect with pride to their identity.

 
In 2009 men from Milungu group from Kawawa village went to the Brave festival in Poland. There, they not only introduced attendees and other participants to Wagogo ngoma, but also saw first hand the musical traditions of other parts of the world.

 
The muheme group Nyerere attended the same Brave Festival in Poland in 2010. This time, they introduced attendees and participants to the exclusively female muheme genre of Wagogo ngoma.

 
The Brave Festival in Poland saw two groups from Chamwino in 2012; a combined muheme group from the uwaki groups Yeriko and Yersalemu at St. Peter’s Anglican church and Ndagwa, a children’s group. The latter also went to France on that trip for some performances and interaction with children from other countries.

 
In 2014, the muheme group Ufunuo attended the TFF Festival in Germany. In true cultural exchange, they were joined by a choir from the Weimar Music Conservatory for a couple of songs. Tanzanian presence was large at the TFF Festival, with many other groups from the coast also performing. Moreover, several scholars of Tanzanian music led talks and lectures, including CAC’s own director, Dr. Kedmon Mapana. All of this introduced the attendees and participants to the breadth and depth of the Tanzanian musical soundscape.

 

In 2015 through 2016 youth workers and adults will participate in an Erasmus+ funded project; Arts for Social Change, coordinated by Open Space Foundation in Sofia, Bulgaria. This project looks at youth development in a few key areas; learning skills, entrepreneurship, initiative, and social and civic competencies. The first stage gives youth workers from four countries (Tanzania, Uganda, Italy, and Bulgaria) the opportunity to share their experiences with each other at a seminar in May 2015. Two youth from Tanzania and two youth from Uganda then engage in the European Volunteer Service program for 10 months in Sofia, Bulgaria starting July 2015. In August 2015 8 youth (13-16) as well as two adults from each country participate in a 11 day youth exchange in Bulgaria. Finally, one youth worker from each country goes to another country to shadow their colleagues for 14 days in February and March 2016. To continue the conversation, all of the tools, activities, and programs are compiled into a book, and online forum, translated into all appropriate languages.

 
Besides this, CAC and its partners host numerous people from countries in Africa and abroad in Chamwino village. People from South Africa and the United States have come for research and do work in the community, besides regularly attending the Festival in July. The CAC also arranges visits to the villages for their foreign guests prior to the Festival itself. These visits give visitors a glimpse into the rural life of the Wagogo.

 
Finally, Tanzanians as well as non-Tanzanians have the opportunity to volunteer with CAC for 3-6 months at a time. Volunteers live in Chamwino village and work alongside the CAC Staff in preparation for the festival as well as CAC’s other work.

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