Veteran poet Chirikure Chirikure has encouraged artists from different genres to collaborate in a move to grow the local arts industry.
Speaking at the Kumusha exhibition held at Gallery Delta on Friday night, Chirikure said, “We have everything here in Zimbabwe and the more we learn to cross pollinate, the stronger we become as an arts and culture centre.” He believes that nothing beats different age groups from different genres working together: the young ones being rich in energy while the older are more wise and experienced. “Once we share that mix we won’t be beaten by anyone,” said Chirikure.
Kumusha is an exhibition which came to Harare after a successful show at Public Pool in Detroit, United States last year. The exhibition is part of the on-going online collaboration between Zimbabwean artists and those in Detroit, in a bid to foster a cultural research dialogue.
It saw local poets reading the works of their partners in Detroit and then reciting their own pieces. Participants in this category included Madzitatiguru, Mbizo Chirasha, Jerry Mugwenhi a.k.a Sir Zvavanhu and Batsirai Chigama. Though performing their own works brilliantly, the poets didn’t do so well when reciting those by Detroit artists..
Also part of the show were exhibitions of designer t-shirts and post cards.The t-shirts were products of four locals Tapfuma Gutsa, Masimba Hwati, Zanele Mutema and Gareth Nyandora who were paired with Olayami Dabls, Christina Galasso, Tiffany Massey and Nate Morgan from Detroit respectively. The pairs had conversed and shared narratives before making t-shirt designs triggered by their exchange.
The postcards were born of Mutare artists Sharon Bilang, Bradean Chitenderu, Eben Gowero, and Christwish Mulunga under the curatorship of the director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Mutare, Elizabeth Muusha.Detroit was represented by Stephanie Buer, Sabrina Nelson, Clinton Snyder, and Dylan Spaysky.The end products were beautiful drawings of landmark buildings in Detroit and the landscapes of the eastern highlands all under the theme I wish you were here.
The night was shutdown by live DJs, from Harare Philani Majama a.k.a DJ Pitso and via Skype from Detroit techno DJ/visual artist George Rahme. Exhibition coordinator Kumbulani Zamuchiya said of the cultural exchange, “Our goal is to encourage strong ties between culture producers and residents in Zimbabwe and Detroit acting as catalysts for critical artistic production, as well as cultural exchange between these two diverse communities.”