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Zimbabwe: Cultural Diplomacy Projects

Zimbabwe: Cultural Diplomacy Projects

NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL: CULTURAL WEEK

Project Details

  • Country:        Zimbabwe
  • Telephone:   +263 430 452 30 / +263 430 823 9
  • Email:            None listed
  • Website:         http://www.natartszim.org
  • Sponsored by: The Government of Zimbabwe

Organisation Description

The National Arts Council (NACZ) is a statuary body that was set up by the Zimbabwean parliament in 1985, with the mandate to lead and promote the development of arts in the country. The council is organised and funded by the Zimbabwean government through the National Arts Council. The NACZ works to foster and improve the knowledge and practice of arts in Zimbabwe, by encouraging the teaching, performance and exhibition of arts to the public. NACZ also functions as an umbrella organization that organises and links together individuals, organisations, local authorities and government bodies involved in the teaching and practice of arts. NACZ is intended to enable a multicultural country like Zimbabwe to both exploit its diversity and build national identity.

Project Description

The first NACZ Cultural Week took place from the 21st of May 2002, as a commemorative event for the UNESCO established World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. 2011 marked the tenth anniversary of the Cultural Week, bringing artists from all over the world together. The Cultural Week is organized on a rotating basis, taking it to different provinces of Zimbabwe every year. The Week is intended to highlight and represent the diversity of Zimbabwean society, celebrating the country’s cultural heritage in past and present. It aims at building a coherent national feeling and identity on the backbone of diversity. The activities of the Cultural Week stretch into various traditional cultural spheres such as dance, music, religious activities, crafts and food.

Aims of Project

–          To bring together diverse arts and cultural activities of the sub-region and other parts of the world for public consumption;

–          To provide an opportunity for the people of Zimbabwe to appreciate the diversity of the arts and cultures of the world;

–          To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and views between artists and other cultural workers within the sub-region, the African continent and the world;

–          To bring about national, regional and international social integration through arts and culture.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

The NACZ Cultural Week is a fine example of cultural diplomacy, as it celebrates cultural diversity, understanding and tolerance through the medium of traditional cultural elements such as dance, music, religious activities, crafts and food. In the spirit of cultural diplomacy, culture here becomes the vehicle for achieving societal goals, such as peaceful coexistence.

ZIMBABWE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL TRUST (ZIFF)

Project Details

  • Country:        Zimbabwe
  • Telephone: +263 479 350 2
  • Email:            zimfilmfest@zol.co.zw
  • Website:         www.ziff.co.zw
  • Sponsored by: The Government of Zimbabwe

Organisation Description

The ZIFF Trust is a non-profit organisation registered with the Zimbabwe National Arts Council, and is involved in the development of film in Zimbabwe and the Southern African region. The ZIFF Trust is built on a philosophy of developing trust, teamwork, relationships and creative collaboration for the benefit of film and cultural identity in Zimbabwe and the region. Over the past seven years the ZIFF Trust has established itself as a reputable film institution in the region. Two years ago, with funding from HIVOS, the Trust was able to purchase a property in Harare, which is now the permanent home of the Trust from which its 4 primary projects operate. These are:

–          The Short Film Project (SFP), an initiative which identifies aspiring and established filmmakers with stories to tell, to develop their skills through the production of short films that are screened in competition at the annual film festival;

–          The Film Forum (FF) to enable the training and development arm of the Zimbabwe International Film Festival Trust;

–          Outreach2Educate (O2E) incorporates programmes that aim to build larger audiences, with the vision of establishing a film culture in Zimbabwe, as well as initiatives that promote visual literacy among Zimbabweans;

–          The Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF) the annual two-week film festival; a non- political platform that showcases feature films, short films, documentaries and hosts a number of workshops, as well as a variety of exciting events that feature film and other artistic genres.

Project Description

The ZIFF Trust is committed to the creation of positive change through the use of media and culture, to foster a cosmopolitan and educated film and arts community, to provide access to skills training and exhibition platforms for more aspiring and professional Zimbabwean filmmakers, and to ensure that a multitude of voices are heard in order to encourage professionalism and social responsibility in the arts community.

Aims of the Project

The ZIFF aims to offer Zimbabweans a platform to tell their own stories, to explore and promote their culture through the medium of film, and to provide a venue to dissect and discuss international cinema and cultures.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

Through the exchange of information and skills, interaction and creation of synergies with other art forms, it is clear that ZIFF represents cultural diplomacy in its true form. The festival’s aim of providing access to skills, training and exhibition platforms for aspiring and professional Zimbabwean film makers ensures that diverse ideas are heard in a sustainable way, which maintains cultural diplomacy through interaction and exchange.

JIKINYA DANCE FESTIVAL

Project Details

  • Country:        Zimbabwe
  • Telephone:   +263 4304 5230 / +263 4308 239
  • Email:            Available on the website
  • Website:         http://www.natartszim.org
  • Sponsored by: The Government of Zimbabwe

Organisation Description

The National Arts Council (NACZ) is a statuary body that was set up by the Zimbabwean parliament in 1985, with the mandate to lead and promote the development of arts in the country. The council is organised and funded by the Zimbabwean government through the National Arts Council. The NACZ works to foster and improve the knowledge and practice of arts in Zimbabwe, by encouraging the teaching, performance and exhibition of arts to the public. NACZ also functions as an umbrella organization that organises and links together individuals, organisations, local authorities and government bodies involved in the teaching and practice of arts. NACZ is intended to enable a multicultural country like Zimbabwe to both exploit its diversity and build national identity.

Project Description

The Jikinya Dance festival showcases a variety of traditional dances by primary school pupils from around the country. The Festival is intended to disseminate knowledge to Zimbabwe’s primary school children of their country’s varied cultural heritage. The organisers hope that in the long run, the festival will help in the creation of a national culture and identity in Zimbabwean youth. The festival is therefore a conscious step, using culture towards creating peaceful relations among a new generation of Zimbabweans. This is also stressed in the overarching theme of the conference Building Zimbabwe through traditional dance.

Aims of the Project

The project aims to encourage children to appreciate and perform traditional Zimbabwean dances, thus preserving the country’s rich cultural heritage, which currently faces extinction.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

The Jikinya Dance Festival can be understood as cultural diplomacy, as it uses dance as a way to foster cultural exchange and understanding among Zimbabwean youths. Dance is used as a vehicle towards social integration among youths from various ethnic groups.

NATIONAL GALLERY OF ZIMBABWE

Project Details

  • Country:        Zimbabwe
  • Telephone:   +263 470 466 6
  • Email:            None listed
  • Website:                        http://www.nationalgallery.co.zw
  • Sponsored by: The Government of Zimbabwe

Organisation Description

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe has been in existence for more than 50 years, and in its lifetime has witnessed the dramatic shift in the country from colonialism to independence. In addition, it has been central to the meteoric rise of Zimbabwean artists in the world art market. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe is maintained under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture. The vision of the gallery is to explore and express the essence of Zimbabwean identity through the visual arts. Its mission is to promote talent, creativity and visual heritage through local and internal platforms. From the outset, the gallery was conceived as a national institution, acting as the artistic representative not only for Southern Rhodesia, but also Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, governed from 1953 to 1963 as a united federation. Other galleries of the same nature exist in the second city of Bulawayo as well as Mutare.

Project Description

The National Gallery has a Permanent Collection that embraces works in all media and is largely divided between Europe and Africa. Today, examples of the Shona sculptures that emerged from this school are on permanent display. The European Collection consists of several significant pieces dating from the 16th century, and also includes a selection of 19th century pieces with some Pre-Raphealite and Impressionist works. The gallery is mainly consisted of paintings and sculptures, and its most visible work is viewed through exhibitions. In the past, exhibitions have been shown of the Kariba Dam construction, the Cuban Photo Exhibition, and the Toyota Dream Car exhibition among others.

Aims of the Project

The project aims to provide African artists with materials, a workspace, guidance and support.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

By exhibiting various artefacts, the Gallery promotes cultural exchange as well as Zimbabwean art. It has become imperative that the gallery takes heed of gender balances, and includes as many females as practically possible in its art programmes, be it for art exhibitions or training seminars. The Curatorial Department’s core business is purely to create new ideas or novel themes for exhibitions that usher in interesting and critical discourse among the artists and curators and critiques. It has an open door policy to receive artists who propose to conduct exhibitions, to seek advice on their work and to request recommendations when they intend to travel on art business.

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