Peter Rorvik is director of the Centre for Creative Arts in Durban, South Africa. The centre, which is affiliated to the university of  Kwazulu-Natal, organizes festivals such as Time of the Writer, Durban International Filmfestival and Poetry Africa.

Peter Rorvik: "Strong cultural organisations are needed on the continent"

November 2009 -

"There is one fact in particular that we can celebrate: the ARTerial Network has proven that they can keep the momentum going," says Peter Rorvik, director of the Centre for Creative Arts in Durban, South Africa. "The time is ripe for a more rapid flow of information on the continent and for South-South exchanges. Although we are still dependent on funds from the north, more than ever before Africans are willing and able to speak for themselves. One concrete result can already be seen: a stronger presence of French-speaking Africa in the ARTerial Network. There has always been a gap between French-speaking and English-speaking Africa."


Peter Rorvik at the 2009 Time of the Writer, Durban

"The challenge now is to make the transition from an informal to a more formal network without subjecting the organisation to undue bureaucratic pressure. Dynamics within the network are currently pleasant. The danger is that the ARTerial network will lose some of its flair. Formalising the structure is an organic process. It must continue to be representative of social organisations. The ARTerial Network’s starting points are strong. Its strength lies in the collective voice. Especially when the economic climate turns cold, culture is the first to suffer. That is why strong cultural organisations are needed on the continent. In South Africa, the cultural sector has strong roots as compared to other countries, but there is dissatisfaction here as well."

"What I hope to see are more inter-African projects. The conference in Johannesburg was an excellent opportunity to network, and that opportunity was utilised. Organisations should join forces and create regional touring circuits. It is more interesting for artists and sponsors to have performances and expositions in a number of countries. The establishment of an African culture fund will put co-productions on the continent into high gear."