Forgotten communities: exploring the distribution and allocation of appropriate performance infrastructure in disadvantaged rural communities
In rural communities which I am calling forgotten communities in this study, there is a need for culturally appropriate rural performance spaces that acknowledges, respects, and reflects the cultures and the rhythm of the way of life of the people in the rural communities. Rural communities such as Bizana in the Eastern Cape are often left in the peripheries of many development projects particularly when it comes to the provision of performance infrastructure. This paper explores not only rural performance spaces but rural performance spaces that are culturally appropriate both commercially and traditionally. Zooming in on the community of Bizana as a case study, this report explores the distribution and allocation of appropriate rural performance infrastructure that is culturally appropriate for the rural community of Bizana. How do key stakeholders of the arts and culture sector such as government officials, the artists, and traditional leaders as different communities of meaning collaborate and create systems that allow for the distribution and allocation of culturally appropriate rural performance infrastructure that acknowledges, respect and reflect the rhythm of the way of life of the people of Bizana? Through the lenses of performance space, collaborative governance, intergovernmental relations framework, and interpretive policy analysis this paper explores the role of each of the departments of arts and culture from the three spheres of government particularly the role of Mbizana local municipality in enabling culturally appropriate rural performance spaces. Government officials, local artists, and traditional chiefs/leaders through collaborative governance approaches should manage their differences to allow for the provision of culturally appropriate rural performance spaces.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of requirements of the degree of Master of Arts by Coursework Degree in the field of Cultural Policy and Management to the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, 2021