One of the aims of the FNCC is to be a platform for Namibian artists to showcase their talent, as well as strengthening the relationship between Namibia and France through cultural exchanges, be them artistic or linguistic.
In this regard, the FNCC, in partnership with the French Embassy in Namibia, Fresh FM, and with the generous sponsorship of Air France who donated two plane tickets, launched the contest “FNCC flies you to France” at the beginning of October, which offered Namibian artists as well as learners of French the opportunity to stand a chance to win plane tickets to France.
To participate, interested individuals needed to submit a detailed application for an artistic or learning project to be carried out in France. The theme of the project was free, with an aim at strengthening the cultural relations between the two countries, fitting with the mandate of FNCC, aiming to intensify the cultural cooperation between Namibia and France, while promoting and supporting Namibian cultural identity.
The FNCC received 55 requests for the application, and 12 submitted a project by the deadline on 25 October. The projects ranged from performances of Namibian musicians with a French group, a sculpting project in partnership with a French sculptor, getting to know the gastronomy of a specific region, living like a French person for a few weeks, discovering museums and making contacts with galleries for Namibian artists to expose in France, and many more exciting projects!
Out of the 12 remarkable applications received, 6 finalists were preselected: Andreas Iikukutu, Sean Kamati, Ngavee Kambezunda, Mathew Ishitile, aka Brain The Tool, Elize Van Huyssteen, and Elia Sangunji.
The criteria used for this selection was the quality of the project, the motivation of the applicant, the use of French counterparts to facilitate the ties between the two countries, the communication plan of the candidate on his trip, the overall budget, as well as the relevance of the project.
A Facebook “likes” competition was launched on 27 October for the public to select one of the two winners. With a combined total of roughly a 1000 likes, the competition surely stirred up a lot of interest amongst voters.
The second winner was selected by a jury during a reception at the French residence on the 1st of November. The jury was composed of the French Ambassador to Namibia, Her Excellency Claire Bodonyi, the director of the FNCC, Jérôme Kohl, FNCC’s Cultural Officer Isabel Katjavivi, and Language department coordinator Dolis Betuma, as well as presenter Whilzahn Gelderbloem from Fresh FM.
The winner of the “People Award” from the Facebook like competition was Elia Sangunji with 281 Likes.
In an unexpected twist, the jury announced that during their deliberation, they could not decide on one final candidate, given the extreme quality of the projects and the motivation of the applicants. Therefore, the FNCC announced that it would pitch in to offer a third ticket! Sean K and Elize Van Huyssteen will therefore be flying to France for their projects!
Other prizes for the other selected finalists included a dinner for 2 for chef Andreas Iikukutu, a concert opportunity at FNCC for Mathew “Brain the Tool”, and an exhibition at FNCC of his artworks for Ngavee Kambezunda.
Winners will travel to France anytime between end of November 2017 and September 2018. You can follow their adventures on FNCC’s Facebook and Instagram where they will be updating Namibia on their French experiences!
About the winners’ projects
He is a musician who wants to go to France for a “Skills exchange”. Let him explain what it means: "I have teamed up with a band in Paris called the The Dark Blue Orchestra, who have a different sound to mine but musically brilliant. The idea is that I replace their lead singer for the time that I am there. They are planning to make a trip down to Namibia sometime next year which would give us time to rehearse, acquaint ourselves, so that when I am there it is all systems go. They are well versed in the Parisian music scene and would be able to organize various performances spaces and venues for me to perform in Paris."
For him, the idea is to have musicians from different backgrounds learn from each other and also giving him the amazing opportunity to have his music heard across Namibian borders and what better place to his music heard that in Paris!
Elize Van Huyssteen
She is a student learning French at FNCC. She would like to go to France in July 2018 to stay for four weeks in Saverne, Alsace, in order to immerse herself in the French language and culture. It is her wish to be able to ‘think’ in French. During this trip, she will take excursions to explore the town of Saverne and the surrounding towns, such as Strasbourg, to visit local art studios, galleries and museums such as the Lalique museum. On her wish list is also to visit "Les rencontres de la photographie" in Arles, which will be running from July to September 2018. This international photography show would allow her to connect with photographers and galeristes who could play a valuable role in the promotion of photography from Namibia. She would also like to visit the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, an art museum with a historic-contemporary approach.
He is a software engineer who wants to go to France, along with his friend Marta, to discover French love, food and arts.
He says it well himself : "We know French cuisine from popular movies and media. I would like to explore more on French cuisine, but not as we know it, I would like to focus on real traditional French cuisine, walk the streets like a local, cook, eat and immerse myself as a local, just like we eat kapana here in Namibia. I would follow the lives of normal French people and ask them what they perceive love to be. Explore art close and personal and get to learn more on it. I will record with my camera every step and document it. After the trip, I hope that we will make friends who will want to come to Namibia and explore the same!"