THE second International Conference on African Cultures (ICAC) kicks off in Harare next Monday will present an opportunity for Zimbabwean artists to market their work and put the country on the world map.
All the 60 scholars expected to make presentations at the meeting have confirmed their participation as preparations for the historic symposium reach a crescendo, with some having started arriving Wednesday.
Addressing journalist in Harare Wednesday, National Gallery of Zimbabwe Director, Doreen Sibanda said they were hopeful the conference would provide Zimbabwean visual artists an opportunity to sign up with some of the world’s best galleries which will be represented at the meeting.
She said the conference, which is coming exactly 55 years after the first such meeting was held at the then Rhodesian Gallery, would not only benefit the artists, but the general community and the economy of the country.
“We are hoping that the conference will provide the artists with a new way of looking at things and doing business. A lot of galleries will be represented and Zimbabwean arts will be in the limelight. The many scholars will bring interaction through the Art Week and will see our arts works for themselves,” she said.
Sibanda said each of the three days will run under its own theme, with day one devoted to arts from Africa, day two on the space and infrastructure for Arts and Culture in Africa and the third day focusing on Heritage and Conservation of the arts.
The final day, which is optional, will centre on tangible and intangible heritage, with a site visit to the Great Zimbabwe ruins in Masvingo where Zvakanyorwa Sadomba will present a paper on “The future role of African Epistemology in Advancing African Material Culture to Compete in the Modern World.”
National Gallery of Zimbabwe Curator, Raphael Chikukwa, said the mapping exhibition will run in collaboration with the Rock Art Exhibition, which will feature images from rock art pieces dating back 65 000 years ago.
“The rock art exhibition will bring in images that cultivate our history and will feature photographs of rock art from Mrehwa, Mtoko, Glen Norah and Matopos. Southern Africa is renowned for rock art and we will show them the importance of rock art and what it does when we preserve it,” he said.Advertisement
He said there will also be an African Voices exhibition featuring works by African artists from Mozambique, Botswana, Kenya, Angola, South Africa and Ethiopia.
Thandazani Dhlakama said there will also be an Arts Week, which will see artists coming together and participating in different ways.
“We have engaged local galleries and other arts spaces to come up with programmes so that delegates can see other spaces outside the gallery and in the process putting Harare on the world map,” she said.