ZZ for Zimbabwe in the Blogging from A to Z challenge.

The last day in my one month exploration of online jewellery collections. And as it happens, I will derail from the jewellery track right here.

It’s hard to find online jewellery collections from museums outside of the Western world, or the Northern, if you like. I then started looking for art in a wider perspective, and with focus on African countries.

I came across the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, a site where you find contemporary art. There I learned about fine artist Masimba Hwati, and I want to share some of the short videos where he talks about art in Zimbabwe and Africa in general.

The Business of Art. Art is social commentary, but it is also a response to the market. African art is not always determined by the African artists themselves, but is a response to a need from outside. To what extent can artists respond to a market and still maintain integrity?

Donor funding and the arts in Zimbabwe. What does it mean for African art to be funded? Most donor funding comes with strings, the funder has some interest too. Do engineers need to be funded? What makes them different? (He also refers to how hilarious it is to see a video about the Zimbabwe pavillion at the Venice Biennale accompanied with Western classical music, I think he refers to this one if you want to have a look).

And in the context of being visible online, he also wonders: Who is telling the Zimbabwe story? So much is going on in Zimbabwe today, but it is not visible online. So many stories are not being shared, not by journalists, nor by artists themselves.

You also find a lot of interesting articles, interviews, blogs and special features at POVO, an arts and culture magazine and movement that serves as a platform for people to voice their opinions especially within art and culture.

It feels good to end the A to Z with something else than jewellery, to leave that world behind for now and see what is going on today, outside of the museum walls and outside of Europe.

Thank you for reading. I hope that this can lead you to some new discoveries.





12 thoughts on “Zimbabwe

    • The art market is not an easy one! I had to publish this post in a haste yesterday, and have now done some edits and added the link to one more video.
      Yes, we’ve finally passed the finish line, now some time to rest, eh? You too, congrats!

  1. I love this post and think it’s a terrific way to wrap up the A-to-Z Challenge, but including reflections on the art in a commercial marketplace and the various limitations on the artist’s voice. Very much liked the link Congratulations on making it all the way through–and in style!

    • Thank you Josna, I really appreciate all your input throughout this past month! I want to mention that I made some edits and added another video to this post after you saw it (I was so much in a rush last night, and tired…). And you too, congratulations! Shall we just have a little rest now? 😉

  2. Congrats on reaching the end of A to Z! Hope you’ve enjoyed it, glad I discovered your blog through the challenge. We all deserve a glass of wine (or a cup of tea) after that month of April!

    You make a very interesting point on art and commerciality. Thinking about it from a writing perspective, of course I want to earn a living from my words (one day!). But it’s a delicate balance to tread because writing for money and to fulfil a commercial demand can surely result in mediocre stories. And so it goes with art. All artists are people at the end of the day and have certain needs that are met by money, it can become very hard to separate those needs from art and to keep art completely pure of commerciality. The question you ask is one that will most likely never have a clear answer, but one that each artist much ask herself.

    By the way, I finally got around to exploring the online Nordiska Museet jewellery collection as well as the V & A website, I’ve earmarked a few pieces for inspiration so thanks again for the referal! 🙂

    • Thank you and yes, this is something to celebrate, what a victory, we even conquered Q and X!
      Indeed, writing is similar to any other art form in this context. And just for clarity, the questions are not mine, it’s the artist himself who asks them (which is one of the things I like very much, when questions are asked rather than being answered).
      I’m glad the collections are useful for your inspiration, good luck with your project!

  3. Thank you for such an interesting and informative take on the A to Z Challenge. It is wonderful to think of all these pieces of jewellery being preserved around the world, and some of their owner’s history being preserved with them.

  4. Late congratulations on reaching a well crafted end to the A to Z Challenge. Thanks for the visit to my page which brought me here and beyond. I know my view on art is Euro-centric so it is refreshing to be reminded to open my senses further.

    • For me, this post was also a “note to self”. How easily we stay with what we already know, and how rewarding it is when we step out of that zone. Thank you for coming by, I really appreciate your comment!

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