Artscape Theatre Centre recently became the first theatre in Africa to join the Silk Road International League of Theatres. To mark this occasion, a memorandum of understanding was signed on 06 November 2018 at a special signing ceremony at the China International Import Expo by Chinese representatives and Artscape CEO, Marlene le Roux, as well as Artscape Council Chairperson HRH Princess Celenhle Dlamini.
The Silk Road International League of Theatres comprises 95 arts organisations from 32 countries as its members. The main aim is to encourage the promotion and exchange of arts and culture amongst its members. Artscape has now become the 96th member and the first organisation from South Africa.
The Silk Road was coined more than two millennia ago when people in Eurasia opened up several routes of trade and cultural exchange that linked the principal civilisations of Asia, Europe and Africa. For thousands of years, countries along the Silk Road have enhanced communication and strengthened exchanges. In the 21st century, a new era marked by the theme of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, it is all the more important for us to carry on the Silk Road Spirit in face of complex global economic and regional situations.
Not only is the Silk Road economically crucial to countries along its route, it is also an important resource for cultural development. Thus to further improve cultural and artistic exchanges and cooperation among countries along the Silk Road, China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG), endorsed and supervised by the Ministry of Culture of China, proposed establishing the “Silk Road International League of Theaters” (SRILT). The concept was approved by the Ministry of Culture of China, and the SRILT was founded in October 2016.
Additionally Artscape also attended the First International Import Expo in Shanghai, China. Supported by the South African Belt and Road company, the cultural institution along with the Caste of Good Hope exhibited at the expo in the Arts & Culture section – the only theatre from Africa that exhibited.