MUHAG started out in 2019 when a group of musician friends organized a concert weekend in Harare. The funding used had been granted originally to Jochen by the City of Munich to perform a concert at the Harare International Festival of Arts together with a local pianist. HIFA was eventually canceled, which was a big blow for performing artists, and with help from Goethezentrum and Alliance Francaise Harare as well as NATCAZ, we launched this grassroots initiative to provide an artistic platform in difficult times and not give in to the circumstances. This festival was not even laid out to be profitable for anyone, it also attracted little audience only due to a cold snap on the MUHAG weekend. But it made an impact, as people noticed the community spirit that drove the project. The participating musicians were immediately asking for a next edition and the team managed to stay in touch. Even the WhatsApp group used to promote the event is still active today.
However, it quickly became clear that 2019 had only been a one time opportunity. Discussions were held about a possible future for the project. Our idea is to become a hub for artists in the twin cities who are interested in collaboration, link them up and help them carry out their own projects through our experience and contacts. We also want to extend the project to other art forms apart from music. But an occasion was needed to get going again.
With the 25th anniversary of the city partnership, we seized the opportunity and are now finally preparing our new edition MUHAG 2021, which we had been hoping for since two years. This time musicians from both cities are involved. Due to Corona, the festival will take place online. And again we are following the community approach by relying on local venues and actors who offer public viewings.
The future of the initiative is still open. We are hoping for propositions from people who want to engage in artistic collaborations between the twin cities or to perform in this scope. All art forms are welcome. Also we hope to get more sponsors and support from the community. So do take part in our online discussions and blogs. And if you would like to contribute actively or financially, just inbox us at