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Intwasa newsletter - July 2013
August 05, 2013
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Zimbabwe Dialogue workshop series
A month ago the Culture
Fund of Zimbabwe Trust in partnership with United Nations Development
Program (UNDP) hosted a workshop for Bulawayo’s creative sector
at the National Art Gallery. The workshop was attended by Pathisa
Nyathi, Jeys Marabini, William Nyandoro, Cliff Zulu, Priscilla Sithole
Ncube, Tswalero Mothobe, Tomeki Dube and other artists. It was facilitated
by Chipo Chikara and Heeten Bargat. The objective of the workshop
was to encourage national dialogue and development through the arts.
In encouraging dialogue
as a way of solving problems rather than resorting to violent means
the workshop had participants asking themselves the following questions:
1. Is it possible to
be Zimbabwean and proud?
2. What is the true Zimbabwean identity?
3. What is the rope that binds us together as Zimbabweans?
4. How and when do we fi-nd common ground?
It was quickly noted
that the tragedy with Zimbabwe is that half the time we celebrate
our differences instead of our similarities. These dialogue series
are the beginning of that journey towards -finding and celebrating
a shared history.
Interestingly the workshop
started with participants using their creativity to interrogate
their identities. Participants were placed in groups and asked to
design t-shirts with messages about Zimbabwe or designing a national
flag. Later in the day participants created jingles and performed
them in front of everyone. The designs that came out and the thinking
behind them were mind blowing. In the ensuing discussions the participants
were encouraged to interrogate the past, present and future of Zimbabwe.
Participants shared their different ideas and experiences freely.
Participants were frank about Zimbabwe and the issues affecting
the country. Commenting on the workshop Farai Mupfunya, the Executive
Director of the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, had this to say,”
Lots of artist can play a critical role in being the country’s
ambassadors as they tour other countries, they can pass on information
about Zimbabwe.” In other words it is time for artists to
stop being on the sidelines of national dialogue. Artists need to
be in the centre. Watch out for My Zimbabwe Dialogue Series on the
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