Cultural Exchange

Cultural exchange has the potential to contribute to mutual understanding and tolerance, to strengthen diversity of opinion and to promote debate on socially relevant topics.  It helps to move away from the clichees of poverty and wealth to adress the root causes of imbalanced access to resources and social injustice. Cultural exchange is inspiring friendship and solidarity amongst people thus encouraging forces which are able to confront these problems as global challenges. It helps to create alternative structures and networks in civil society and facilitates participation in political life. It releases creative energy and triggers fresh stimuli in local and international art work and development cooperation.

KUNZWANA TRUST Revival & the Arts Factory project

THE REVIVAL BEGINS with THE ARTS FACTORY project, kick starting the ‘factory’ in support of arts development in Zimbabwe in 2021, with a grant from the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust’s CreativeACTIONS programme, co-funded by the European Union.The Arts Factory services offer a ray of hope at a time when artists of Zimbabwe who - already struggling for economic survival, crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic and with careers in jeopardy - need to envision, plan and prepare for a post-Covid-19 recovery. KUNZWANA TRUST Press Release: Immediate release 13.8.2021

The late Keith Goddard in discussion with a musician at Siachilaba Store, Binga, 2008 (Photo: P Kuthan)

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Fruitful collaboration between Austrian Free Radios and Zongwe FM / Zambia

Parallel and linked to the exhibition "one man one note" re/calling Siachilaba in Strobl / Austria has been the project "Sichtwechsel" - Change of Perspective - as part of the Festival of the Regions in Ebensee / Upper Austria with live radio programs by radio-moderators from Salzkammergut in collaboration with their colleagues from Zongwe FM in Sinazongwe/Zambia.


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Excited response: "One man - one note" re/calling Siachilaba

The opening of the exhibition on 12th June @ Kunsthaus Deutschvilla in Strobl / Wolfgangsee / Austria was attended by a good crowd of interested people and many friends who have been involved in cultural exchanges several times already. After introductions by Peter Kuthan and the curator Fina Esslinger, the composer Klaus Hollinetz laid out the tune with his "tonga-return" electronic soundscape. Then, Isabelle Duthoit and Franz Hautzinger recalled the whole realm of sounds encountered in Siachilaba a year ago. Finally, Peter Androsch on guitar, Bernd Preinfalk on cello accompanied and complemented Didi Bruckmayr's incredible spectrum of vocal vibes in an acoustic dialogue with the Tonga Ngoma Buntibe Tonkunst.

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  • Current Events

    Current activities and events, press coverage, workshops...

  • ABC

    The co-operation between Binga Crafts Centre and ABC (Auhof Basket Company), HAK Auhof School in Linz, Austria has gone online by establishing special websites. The students in Linz are commited to promote the marketing of Tonga baskets.

  • Simonga

    The ngoma buntibe group at Siachilaba takes its name from the composer (mwimbi), called Simonga, who fled with his relatives from fighting chiefs in Zambia to Siachilaba sometime towards the beginning of this century. He was the grandfather of Sialwindi Munkuli, the present leader of Simonga and the keeper of the horns in central Siachilaba today.

    In 1994, Simonga presented a performance of Valley Tonga buntibe music as part of a Festival Trail, the last segment of the Houses of Stone Festival organised by KUNZWANA Trust. In 1995, a similar event took place as part of a cultural safari organised by members of the Austria-Zimbabwe Friendship Association in Linz, Austria in conjunction with KUNZWANA.

  • Soundbridge

    An ambitious "sound bridge" provided for a connection between the festivals in remote Zimbabwe and in Linz / Austria. Recordings made by Karl Ritter at Festival on Saturday were taken by Gary Brooking on Sunday morning to Bulawayo and uploaded there to Austria via Internet. In Linz, accordionist Otto Lechner, another Windhund musician, responded to these sound files and loops with his own reflections on Sunday evening at the „sound park“ along the river Danube in Linz. This performance was again livestreamed to the world via Internet radio station in Austria.

  • Parade Linz09

    Linz, an Austrian City, will be the European Capital of Culture for the year 2009. This means that the whole of Europe, for the whole of 2009 will be focusing on Linz for cultural activities and artistic displays from all over the world.

     This was seen as an opportunity to expose the Tonga Culture, and what better way than to have one Ngoma Buntibe group representing the BaTonga from both sides of the Lake: symbolising the oneness in culture, though separated by International borders and huge waters.

  • Ars Electronica 2002

    Tonga.Online project has been recognised with a "honorary mention" in the Net Excellence category and is invited to take part at the Ars Electronica Festival from 7-12 September 2002 in Linz. This will provide for a platform of reflection and interactive communication for the project and will contribute to raise attention and support for the Tonga community.

  • Landesmuseum, Linz

     Exhibition "Tracing the Rainbow" about life, arts and culture in Southern Africa at the State Museum of Upper Austria province in Linz. Last year, Director Peter Assmann and Curator Stefan Eisenhofer invited us to present some results of our cultural exchange programme between Linz / Austria and the Tonga area. This invitation sparked the idea for the TONGA.ONLINE project as a way to communicate with the Tonga community directly.Part of the exhibition is a TONGA.ONLINE Project Room where visitors of the exhibition have an opportunity to get immediate access to Tonga people and Tonga culture using the Internet as a tool for communication.

  • Windhund Tour News

    The Windhund Tour of Zimbabwe took place from 4-16 September 2002. They travelled to and performed at Victoria Falls (informal), Siachilaba, Binga, Bulawayo and Harare. Throughout their tour they shared their stage with Zimbabwean musicians, including the traditional Tonga group Simonga, Binga High School Choir and Drama groups, the afro-jazz group Submarine in Bulawayo, Shona mbira artist Ms Sonnie Chikoka in Harare, and many African jazz artists at the African Banking Corporation Jazz Festival in Harare, the final performance of their tour.

  • Virginia Mukwesha

     In autumn 2002, ARGEZIM (Austria Zimbabwe Friendship Association) invited the Austrian musician Otto Lechner and his "Windhund" group to visit the Tonga and promote the Tonga.Online project in Zimbabwe. This time, the "Windhund Zimbabwe Rewind" programme will span from samples of music from their Zimbabwe tour to another reflection of Tonga music. They will be joined by Virginia Mukwesha and her Mbira-Trio, who are quite popular for their fusion of traditional and contemporary music styles.

  • Thomas Mapfumo

    Windhundrecords proudly presents The Lion of Chimurenga Music and Chimurenga Rebel Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited for another WINDHUND ZIMBABWE REWIND: a reflection on Tonga Ngoma Buntibe music and promotion of the Tonga.Online project. The event is also celebrating the actual extension to Sianzyundu and Siachilaba and the Award of Distinction won at Prix Ars Electronica 2004.

  • Ars Electronica 2004

    The Tonga.Online project - an offspring of the cultural exchange between Austria and Zimbabwe - received an Award of Distinction from the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica 2004, in the category "Digital Communities". The award was handed over by Austrian State Secretary for the Arts and Media Franz Morak in New York City’s Metropolitan Pavilion on 23 June 2004 in conjunction with the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit.