”We are staging an intervention, we are coming in the midst of confusion and anxiety not only in our country but all over the world and we are going to intervene,” said HIFA Director Maria Wilson at a press briefing on Wednesday.
The theme for this year’s edition of HIFA slated to run from May 2 – 7 is “HIFA 2017-Staging and Intervention,”speaking to the socio-economic problems that are bedeviling not only Zimbabwe nation but the world.
“HIFA 2017 is saying let’s stop being negative, and let’s remember with joy and celebrate what it is to be Zimbabwean, so you are going to see a very different look for HIFA this year because we are saying enough and let’s look into the future,” she said.
HIFA is a 6-day annual festival and workshop programme that showcases the very best of local, regional and international arts and culture in a comprehensive festival programme of theatre,dance, music, circus, street performance, fashion, spoken word and visual arts. HIFA has come to be seen as an important symbol of something positive about Zimbabwe, unifying socially and culturally disparate groups of Zimbabweans at a time of ideological conflict and political uncertainty bringing huge audiences together to celebrate something positive – the healing and constructive capacity of the arts.
Since its inception in 1999, the Festival has received recognition for its support of arts and culture in Zimbabwe and is seen as a major contributor to development in this area. HIFA is now the largest cultural event in Zimbabwe and among the eight major festivals in Africa. HIFA has gained local and international media praise on many fronts, for example, Robert Grieg writing in the South Africa Sunday Independent -“The Harare International Festival of the Arts is probably the best organised festival in the sub-continent and one of the most manageably diverse. More importantly in the current socio-economic situation HIFA has come to be seen as an important symbol of something positive about Zimbabwe”.