Joel Haikali is the director of Katutura is…
Artwolfe: Why Katutura is…?
Joel: Because we want artists to complete this sentence with what ‘Katutura is’ to them (their definition, meaning of what Katutura represents). On another level the title also represents the fact that Katutura and all it represents for people, is a reality that remains largely unacknowledged. As a part of society, artists interpret certain realities artistically and we are hoping to re-define and re-negotiate what Katutura is, while at the same time creating a platform for its residents to be part of that exploration and discussion as well.
Artwolfe: Who is behind this project and how are they involved?
Joel: I initially came up with the idea and started to gather individuals that are passionate about art. As we speak we are 10 organisers representing different art disciplines.
Artwolfe: Why is Katurura is… important for Windhoek and Namibia?
Joel: Katatura is… is an initiative by a collective of artists to bring art to the community and sensitize them about the importance of art. It is also about collaboratively exploring meaning together through different art disciplines that all form part of expressing a ‘Namibian Identity’, if you will. We want to challenge the stereotypes about Katutura and bring art to the community by celebrating and expressing both the positive and negative aspects of the histories, identities and fantasies of and about the township.
Artwolfe: What is it going take to get Katutura is…off the ground? What are you and your team up to now to make it happen?
Joel: Primarily we are looking for funds to cover at least the costs of materials and the exhibition places which will be in houses in Katutura. Simultaneously we seek for partnership especially within the community in Katutura and for that reason we have already started talking to people. There will be no point (to the project) if we don’t have the community on board.
Artwolfe: What is the big plan and the big dream?
The bigger plan is for this idea to grow into a bigger annual or bi-annual event in Windhoek’s calendar that takes place in Katutura, Khomasdal and Klein Windhoek where people get to appreciate art and interact and get familiar with those locations even if they don’t live there. Some sort of crossing boundaries through arts. We try to close the gaps by creating a bit of understanding or exploring different interpretations for the ‘other side’. Often we look at each other as representatives of stereotypes, while it is important that we start looking beyond that and explore the stories of people and start seeing them as individuals. Katutura is…is a step into that direction.
If you want to support Katutura is…in any way, or find out more email Joel at email@example.com. All photos taken by Lukas Amakali