Staging Times explores different dimensions of how visual and performing arts can interact. By linking photography and theatre, the project creates a network between artists from six African countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, Kenia, Burundi, Malawi, South Africa). The design of the project follows a ping-pong format: pictures of the photographers provide a source of inspiration for the theatre artists. Vice versa, their plays and performances, based on the photographs, will again generate new images.
Time as the main topic of this collaboration plays a prominent role in both forms of artistic expression even if approached from very different angles. While photography can preserve a moment over time, theatre lives and fascinates only in the very elusive instant. The way the passing of time or its standstill is experienced, how past and future shape the presence or the entanglement of various times at the same moment, are some of the fields the artists explore.
In February 2019 the project started in Bujumbura with a conference of all participants where they discussed the various facets of time with scholars and other artists. The outcome of Staging Times consists of three theatre productions performed at the Buja sans Tabou festival in Burundi in February 2020 and an art exhibition presenting the work of the photographers (and documents of the performances) at different places and venues in Africa and in Europe.
Additionally, the project features a component for and with young photographers of the participating countries. It offers them learning and working opportunities with their older colleagues involved in the project.