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Bushfire - Bring Your Fire Zone: Create & Sustain

Posted on: Friday, March 31, 2017
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For the past decade, BRING YOUR FIRE has been MTN Bushfire’s inspiring call to action, a concept that encourages the proactive contribution of the individual towards social change.

Your Fire is your energy, your spirit, your passion, and your drive to make a difference.

During this time, MTN Bushfire has encouraged participants and guests alike to heed this call, and in the process the festival has achieved a worldwide reputation for its visionary and authentic approach to raising awareness of the need for social change.

In 2017 MTN Bushfire will take BRING YOUR FIRE to a whole new level with the introduction of the BRING YOUR FIRE ZONE, a dedicated space that will articulate and manifest this call to action around a specific theme.

MTN Bushfire 2017 is excited to announce that the theme for this year’s BRING YOUR FIRE campaign and zone will be environmentalism and sustainability.

To this end, MTN Bushfire Festival is partnering with a host of organisations to present a truly interactive and creative space that will engage with the myriad issues related to environmentalism and sustainability more broadly, including arts sustainability in the region.

These activities will live not only at the Festival, but also before and after the event on social media and also critically in the local Swaziland communities.

Everyone is invited to become a pro-active contributor and to #BRINGYOURFIRE.

Within this theme, MTN Bushfire 2017 will also be further committing to become a more carbon-neutral event with this year seeing an increased focus on recycling and an insistence that all trading vendors use packaging that is made from recycled material.

BRING YOUR FIRE ZONE

As the tangible and interactive manifestation of the BRING YOUR FIRE call to action based on this year’s theme of environmentalism and sustainability, the BRING YOUR FIRE ZONE will play host to an array of exhibitions, activations, performances and related activities.

“The Burning Question” Yebo Art Gallery Exhibition

Within the ZONE, Yebo Art Gallery will be presenting an exhibition; “The Burning Question,” based on the theme of a changing climate, particularly focusing on the role that artists and the arts can play in effecting recognition, intervention and action.

As the arts industry finally wakes up to the reality and urgency of climate change, as indicated by the huge increase in the visibility of the arts in creating awareness and cultivating action and reaction towards climate change and environmental issues at last two international summits on climate change (COP 21 and 22), MTN Bushfire and its
partner, Yebo Art & Design, are at the leading edge of grappling with this critical issue.

All Out Africa: Indigenous Tree Planting

Long time partner of MTN Bushfire, All Out Africa will be working with the festival and the local Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary to offset the carbon footprint of the festival and counter act deforestation by inviting guests to personally get involved by planting an indigenous tree in the nearby reserve. Guests will have the opportunity to sign up for the tree planting project and will be transported to and from the reserve where they will plant a tree and be part of this lasting environmental legacy project.

This is a long term project aims not only to plant trees to offset carbon emission and loss due to deforestation but also to educate on the importance of protecting tress and our shared natural heritage as a whole.

MTN Bushfire Environmental Anthem

Under the facilitation of Alex Paullin, from Conservation Music, a group of leading local musicians/students/choir/poets from the local communities will engage in an extensive workshop to brainstorm, skill-share, create, and record a song that offers a dynamic medium to communicate and send a messages around the issue of environmental issues & climate change.

Sunshine Cinema

MTN Bushfire partner Sunshine Cinema will also be part of the BRING YOUR FIRE ZONE and will engage with participants by screening films and documentaries touching on issues related to  environmental sustainability. These film screenings and discussions will all be solar panel powered.

Schools Programme and Arts Roundtable

For the past decade, MTN Bushfire, along with its partners, has been committed to creating an increasingly inclusive festival program where members of the local youth community become active participants to generate a sustainable arts legacy that instils skills and motivation in youth to become arts and creative industry entrepreneurs.

The annual Schools Programme reaches out to about 120 schools and 1350 students with entertaining and educational arts experiences. Additionally, the annual Arts Round Table is a forum that welcomes local, regional and international arts practitioners and experts who engage in lively dialogue and debate towards creating a more sustainable arts community within Southern Africa.

Interactive Studio

Within the BRING YOUR FIRE ZONE there will also be a digital studio where guests can engage in video-recorded discussions that will be shared via MTN Bushfire’s social media platforms and on the main screens around the festival venue. These discussion platforms will open up the space for engagement beyond the festival itself and into the digital realm.

MTN BUSHFIRE BENEFICIARIES

For the past decade MTN Bushfire has also supported two local NGO’s, Young Heroes and BoMake Rural Projects, close to R1.4 million has been raised for Young Heroes and BoMake Rural Projects (former Gone Rural boMake) since 2007.

Young Heroes

Since 2006, Young Heroes has supported the orphans and vulnerable children of Swaziland so they may flourish and achieve their fullest potential. Since the inception of MTN Bushfire, the festival and its partners have donated over E1, 400,000 enabling Young Heroes to provide food and clothing to over 1,000 orphans.

These accomplishments have been achieved via four major programs.

Life-Support Grants
Sponsors provide monthly stipends to orphan homesteads ensure that family has sufficient funds for such necessities as food, clothing and education fees, so the children can remain together as a family in their community.

Healthcare Program
Comprehensive healthcare services to Young Heroes’ children, caregivers and their family members, who are invited to a local health facility for full medical screening by doctors and nurses.

Skills Training Empowerment Program
A year-long course in vocational and business training for those who age out of life-support grants after they turn 19. Attendees have the choice of eight different vocations in which they can become certified, from catering to motor mechanic.

Umliba Loya Embili – Youth Going Forward/DREAMS
Thanks to a grant from Pact through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for HIV/AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), this program addresses HIV prevention and impact mitigation for orphans and vulnerable children and their caregivers through education and economic empowerment.

BoMake Rural Projects

BoMake Rural Projects, the non-profit arm of Gone Rural (Pty) Ltd was founded in 2006 to complement the economic empowerment activity provided to over 750 women artisans working with BoMake Rural Projects.

BoMake, is dedicated to meeting the needs of these women, their families and communities. Through its community-led approach it seeks to empower communities through capacity building and access to information. Programs provide access to basic services; health, education, community development, water, sanitation & hygiene. Its grass-roots processes ensure interventions are relevant and sustainable. MTN Bushfire has donated R327,539 to BoMake Rural Projects to date.

Achievements and Impact; to date:

  • In 2010, BoMake Rural Projects facilitated the building of its first community building. Today, 3 buildings provide a safe environment and hub for rural artisans and their communities, with 3 more being built in 2016.
  • During 2012 and 2013, proceeds from the festival enabled 46 children to access basic education and complete their academic year.
  • In 2014, 4000 clients received Sexual Reproductive health services from our sponsored mobile clinic.
  • Since 2010, funds raised supported over 10,000 people to access clean water and sanitation facilities through 23 boreholes and some 900 sanitation facilities.
  • 2900 women and youth were reached with business and social skills training that enabled 125 savings groups to raise over SZL 800,000 towards the development and growth of micro-enterprise initiatives.

For more information, please visit www.goneruralswazi.com/bomake

For more on the open call visit http://yeboswaziland.com/open-call-for-artists-in-africa-yebo-contemporary-art-gallery-and-londza-design-are-curating-an-exhibition
For more information on MTN Bushfire: www.bush-fire.com, www.facebook.com/MTNBushfire @bushfirefest

 

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