Participants reflect on the Atelier Johannesburg 2018 - "Entering the Artist Work Room"

24 April 2018

A month after the 13th edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, some participants offered to share their experience of this 7-day training.

Laura Ganda, Creative Lounge, Zimbabwe

"I was pleasantly surprised. The Atelier turned out to be a participatory studio not a lecture! A place to internalize and question what you see and how it relates to your work. I entered this studio on the very first day with people who were not strangers anymore but friends I still had to meet. The Atelier lived up to its name. I was fully immersed in an artist’s studio at Constitution Hill. Consciously revisiting the history of South Africa, its turbulent road to democracy. The sentient design; preserving the old and seamlessly mixing with the present brings very vivid memories of a painful history and transformative process still going on. Being my first encounter with The Atelier, and to go to such a place, I was reminded of the seriousness of the work that we do as festival managers, the stories that we tell, the impact we have on the down trodden and the joys we bring of togetherness and belonging."

Read more about Laura's testimony on this link.

Thuthukani Ndlovu, Vrystaat Literature Festival South Africa / Zimbabwe

"It was a real honour and privilege to be granted the opportunity to attend the first Atelier on the African continent. I attended the 13th edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers which was held in Joburg in March this year, and likewise, before the program started, I had my own expectations. Half way through the program, I then realised that my expectations were exceeded. The program presented me with countless opportunities to be exposed to information, ideas and experiences, as well as potential collaborations, and access to wisdom that I can use in my industry. I’ve been working in the Literature industry for about 3 years now – primarily dealing with poetry (Workshops, anthologies and spoken word performances) – so I’m glad that I could be exposed to such a program at an early stage of my career."

(...) "In conclusion, make sure you apply for the next atelier. You won’t regret it. One of the participants even crowd funded in order to attend the atelier in Joburg, so there’s not much that should stop you from applying. I’m really grateful for the friends I made, all the people I met, and the information I received and got to share. With that being said, all the best, and stay blessed."

Read more about Thuthukani's testimony on this link.