Byo launches new arts initiative

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A NEW arts initiative through which artists will use public performance spaces to engage and interact with their audience has been launched in Bulawayo with a view to taking the various arts forms to different communities.

Titled “Feet-in City”, the project is the brainchild of Voice in Colour, a Bulawayo based arts organisation, in partnership with the Bulawayo City Council, National Gallery in Bulawayo and Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA).
Various activities have been organised, starting with a street parade and a photographic exhibition which took place at Njube suburb on Thursday.
On Saturday, there will be street performances in the city centre by various artists who include Umkhathi Theatre Works, Hudson Simbarashe, Drums of Peace, Impumelelo Shining Stars and Zambian group, Rainbow Blaze Marimba.  
Also on offer will be crafts and food stalls dotted around the Central Business District.
Through Feet-in City, Voices in Colour seeks to make the community of Bulawayo more appreciative of different artworks that exist in the city.
“We realised that art, especially visual art, was not reaching out to the people. People only know a limited form of art and we believe one cannot appreciate art without knowing it, thus Feet-in City brings art to the people giving them a platform to interact with artists and artworks,” said Fisani Nkomo, the project coordinator.
“Through this process Feet-In City seeks to expose other forms of art little or unknown to the public for instance live installation, performance art just to mention a few. Through this programme we encourage people to embrace the ability to appreciate all art and understand how it relates to our society.”
Speaking on the photographic exhibition, Nkomo said they engaged Njube residents who submitted their family portraits some taken as far back as the 1930’s. The photographs will be scanned and enlarged and put up at the Njube community hall for free public viewing.
“The Township exhibition is a new initiative, to engage the public, communities and individuals. This is a way of enabling them to celebrate their history, celebrate themselves as a people, celebrate their culture and their space. We initiated this in Njube in August and we hope to spread it to other townships,” he said.
Nkomo said the initiative was not just about taking the art to the people but making them participate in its creation and appreciate the different art forms.