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Zim artist meets the Queen

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Sithabile Mlotshwa being introduced by Curator Patricia Allan to Her Majesty the Queen of England for the work she was commissioned to make for the Glasgow Museums and Galleries.

LONDON – Sithabile Mlotshwa, a contemporary artist from Zimbabwe based in the Netherlands, has been commissioned to make an installation with an ostrich egg, to represent the southern and eastern part of Africa in water-related issues.
The three-dimensional artwork in the form of an etched ostrich eggshell, with porcupine quills and rope, made of natural materials, was commissioned for the Kelvinegrove New Century Project.
The artwork is displayed in the Cultural Survival Gallery at the Kelvinegrove Museum will be officially opened to the public next week after being closed for refurbishment three years ago.
“As an acknowledgement of my contribution to the refurbishment of Kelvinegrove, I am also invited to be present in the galleries during the tour by Her Majesty The Queen who will be accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh,” Sithabile told The Zimbabwean this week.
“As a woman artist from Bulawayo, I feel honoured and proud by this. My special thanks go to the Curator, World Cultures, Patricia Allan, who approached me regarding the project and has been with me all the way,” she added.

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Coming of age: zeitgenössische Kunst aus Zimbabwe

Coming of age: zeitgenössische Kunst aus Zimbabwe: Chikonzero Chazunguza, Doreen Sibanda, Voti Thebe, Ishmael Wilfred, Craig Wylie und die Bildhauer: Bernard Matemera, Nicholas Mukomberanwa, Joseph Muzondo, John Takawira. Aschaffenburg: Städtische Galerie Jesuitenkirche, 1998. 96pp. illus. (color). (Forum Aschaffenburg, 20). N7396.6.R5C66 1998 AFA. OCLC 43343882.

Painting is privileged over stone sculpture in this exhibition of contemporary Zimbabwean art held in Aschaffenburg, Germany, in 1998. Featured artists are Chikonzero Chazunguza, Doreen Sibanda, Voti Thebe, Ishmael Wilfred, Craig Wylie, Bernard Matemera, Nicolas Mukomberanwa, Joseph Muzondo, John Takawira, and Sithabile Mlotshwa.


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AICA President Yacouba Konaté on Sithabile Mlotshwa and AICA’s Public Profile and Defence of Freedom of Expression in the 43ste AICA congres in Dublin

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Yacouba Konate

The annual report of Yacouba Konaté, Chairman of AICA International has been published. He will read this text at the 43rd AICA conference in Dublin at the end of this month. Below is the complete report.

By Yacouba Konaté

translation: Henry Meyric Hughes

  1. Pro Decentralisation

I should like to congratulate AICA Ireland and thank them in the name of all of us, including the Bureau and me, personally. Only 6 months ago, it seemed unlikely that this Congress would ever take place, because of the difficulties the Section had encountered, in their efforts to raise the necessary funds. I should like to thank the Irish authorities and all those people of good will whose joint efforts have finally enabled us to be here now. First and foremost, I should like to thank our colleague, Ciaran Bennett, and his team. I know that their task has not been easy, but their determination has triumphed over all the odds. And I should also like to add my thanks to Liam Kelly, whose wise counsels have contributed to enabling us to be present here today.

This year, we are sad to record the death of a number of our members. In particular, I should like to invite you, to join me in marking in a minute’s silence, as a token of our respect for the memory of our Honorary President René Berger and the former President of AICA Croatia, Darko Glavan. Our colleague, Marie-Pascale Gildemyn, from the Belgian Section, kindly agreed to represent us at the commemorative ceremony for René Berger, and I should like to thank her for that.

Likewise, I should like to thank Marie Luise Syring and Christophe Domino for representing the Association at the seminars in, respectively, Skopje and Yerevan. These seminars which were mainly financed by grants from UNESCO’s Participation may be accounted a success. The Sections in Skopje and Yerevan deserve our praise for their role, in bringing this about. The seminar in Skopje was jointly organised by Suzana Milevska and the Paris office, and the seminar in Armenia by Nazareth Karoyan. Congratulations to both! We chose to devolve the organisation of these seminars onto the principal parties, to the greatest extent that we could. We feel sufficiently encouraged by the results to believe we can continue down the path of encouraging participants in such events to take on the maximum responsibility that is consistent with answering the trust placed in us by these who provide the funds.

  1. ‘Calming down’ and Life in the Sections

After the Congress in Barcelona in November 2008, at which you did me the honour of entrusting me with the destiny of our shared Association, the Administrative Council, in February, advised me to exercise due prudence with the management of our current affairs. The advice of one colleague was simply to allow things to ‘calm down – we need to convalesce!’ Indeed, the background to the No Borders exhibition has been a factor in this, so one of our first tasks was, of course, to sort this out. Our finances have improved, but the general outlook remains a matter for concern.

That is why, in the end, you agreed that we should sublet our meeting-room to AICA France, at the request of the latter. This step, which was in response to our concern to reduce general overheads has also been accompanied by a number of other small economies on items such as the mobile ‘phone, which we could dispense with.

Now that the controversy surrounding the No Borders exhibition has died down, I should like to take another look at the proposal that we elect the former Secretary-General, Ramon Tio Bellido, to the role of

Honorary Secretary of AICA. The eleven years that he has devoted to the service of AICA have amply demonstrated that he deserves this mark of respect.

  1. Life in the Sections

At least two of these subjects are particularly close to my heart. One of them is the provision of training for art critics and curators, which I hope we can restart in the coming year. The other is the idea of AICA Prizes at some of the large international artistic events, and I am pleased to note that this has, indeed, served as a stimulus to a number of Sections. Indeed, the Turkish Section organised a Critics’ Prize on the occasion of the last Istanbul Biennial, and I have little doubt that the Dakar Biennial will take up this idea, as well. Other discussions on the idea of prizes have been taking place in Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast. I have already taken the opportunity of holding informal discussions in all those countries, as well as having the pleasure of meeting colleagues in Denmark and Norway and using the occasion to discuss AICA’s affairs with them.

We have also established contacts which are worth pursuing with some critics in Cameroon. Our Honorary President, Henry Meyric Hughes has also invested a great deal of effort in India and China, and we now have reason to hope we may be able to establish Sections in these huge countries, which play an increasingly important role in contemporary artistic creation. In the meantime, the Ivory Coast Section has been re-established, along new lines. Now it only needs to regularise its situation, by submitting the appropriate documentation, for approval by the relevant Commission. The Brazilian Section continues to take significant initiatives and might, indeed, be able to help us to relaunch certain Sections in the rest of Latin America.

  1. Commissions and Publications

Our Commissions have given their support to the membership in a variety of ways, by advising them on a number of concrete matters. The Finance Commission, incorporating, as it does, the Fellowship Commission Fund, chaired by our dynamic colleague, Tineke Reijnders, has managed to raise some funds, to assist, above all, with covering the annual subscriptions of a number of our members.

Pending the reform of the Publications Commission, in anticipation of which we eagerly await Jonathan Dronsfield’s report, there has continued to be a strong collaboration between Ramón Tio Bellido and Henry Meyric Hughes, on the one hand and Lisbeth Rebollo, , on the other. The publication on 60 Years of AICA (AICA in the Age of Globalisation) is ready. Our only concern is the small number of people, so far, who have committed themselves to purchasing a copy, in advance.

Publication of the paper from the seminars in Africa is still conditional on their being taken up by Dakar Biennial’s magazine, Afrik’art. This should happen by January, at the latest. Alternatively, I have also being contacted in Abidjan by a modest publishing hose, called CERAP, which is willing to look at our proposal. The entire documentation will be submitted to their editorial committee in November, for evaluation. I am hopeful that this material will become available for sale in book form, in the course of 2010.

As for the website, there has been an overall increase in the number of hits we have received. However, there has been more than one occasion when colleagues have asked me for information that is already on the site. We should all grow accustomed to feeding the site and consulting it regularly. News from the Sections and even some of the more significant activities of individual members could easily feature there more frequently.

  1. AICA’s Public Profile and Defence of Freedom of Expression
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Detail installation of Sithabile Mlotshwa – Footsteps of Change – exhibited at Panaf 2009 Algiers

The amount of visibility we can give to our Association also serves to make it better known. Our colleagues, Andriano and Anselmo Villata, in Italy, have contributed to giving wider exposure to AICA, by publishing a very beautiful book on a great Italian sculptor, Maria Cristina Carlini, in association with us. 7 of our members contributed to the catalogue and AICA gave its official support to this publication. We also did the same thing for the Biennial of Mercosur, at the request of Lisbeth Rebollo.

As in previous years, AICA one again found itself to the forefront of the battle for freedom of expression. Our colleague, Geneviève Breerette, was the first to alert us to the resumption of the affair surrounding the exhibition, Présumés Innocents, presented in Bordeaux in 2000. An association of fervent Catholics had found this exhibition so shocking that they claimed some of the images to be potentially conducive to paedophilia. Henry-Claude Cousseau, the then Director of the CAPC, in Bordeaux, where the exhibition had been shown and the two curators of the exhibition, Marie-Laure Bernadac and Stéphanie Moisdon, have all been summoned to court. AICA has lent its support to these colleagues, in the same way that it will for Sithabile Mlotshwa, a Zimbabwean artist whose installation at the Pan-African Festival in Algiers in Algiers, in July 2009, fell foul of the authorities from her own country, who sent an official complaint to the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  1. Participation from Other Countries and Budget

As you will have noticed, this is the first time that a relatively significant number of delegates from Africa and the Caribbean have enrolled for this Congress. This is a beginning, and I hope that this trend will be continued and reinforced in the coming years. However, taking part in the Congress is not a goal in itself. The exchanges that result from this and the collaborations that grow out of it can help the relatively young Sections to play a fuller part, in promoting the role of the critic.

This is the third occasion, to date, on which the Getty Foundation has given its support to initiatives taken by AICA. In 2006, it did this for the Congress in Paris; then in 2007, for the Congress in Brazil. We are extremely grateful for its consistent support. We hope that this help, together with the help that we have received from other partners, will provide us with the means of organising some form of collaboration between Sections in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. We feel encouraged by the responses we have received to our initial approach to a number of funding agencies. We shall continue to work on this and develop our contacts, over time.

Nevertheless, it seems to me that AICA itself could learn to become more self-reliant. Several Sections make huge efforts to raise the fees from their members and thereby sustain the life of the Association. I should like formally to congratulate and thank all those Sections, a number of which have also agreed to pay their fees in advance. We may have some grounds for hoping for an overall increase in the revenue from subscriptions, but I cannot accept that the bulk of the funds we raise by this means should have to be set aside to pay for the operational costs of the office in Paris, without there being anything left for the Association’s programme of activities. It seems to me that at least $20,000 US should be set aside for organising seminars, however modest in scale, like those we have just had in Skopje and Yerevan, or for supporting publications. In the long run, we should not be spending more than 50 % of our revenue on administrative overheads. I should like to invite delegates to the Congress to think carefully about this question, to which I can only see too alternative solutions: increasing revenue, and reducing overheads.

We should seek to raise funds from, and negotiate long-term partnerships with, institutions and foundations whose aims are compatible with our own. The type of structural partnership that links us to UNESCO should also be investigated, in relation to other foundations in the USA, The Netherlands, Germany, or Scandinavia. But if we are to approach institutions in these countries for assistance, we also need to be certain of having meaningful and relevant projects to offer them. Then we can mandate Sections to engage in negotiating deals, in the name of the Association, as a whole.

In closing, I should like to thank Marie Luise Syring and Haydee Venegas for their collaboration. I should also like to thank Anne-Claude Morice and Akiko Issaverdens for their support and the dedication they bring to the delicate task of dealing with the Association’s administration.

I wish you each and every one of you a good Administrative Council meeting and a good Congress.

Thank you!

Yacouba Konaté


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Monday, 17 October 2011

Art and Censorship

Published by the government of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Sithabile Uses Artistic Licence to Lie
Jonathan Mbiriyamveka

20 July 2009


Algiers — An installation titled “Footsteps of Change” is threatening to stifle Zimbabwe’s rebranding efforts by Government as it seeks to down play the several reforms achieved so far by the inclusive Government.
The controversial installation by Sithabile Mlotshwa which is on display at the Pavillion A SAFEX gallery as part of the ongoing second edition of the Pan African Festival of Algiers does not only sow seeds of hate, but also shows how much Sithabile is out of sync with reality.
She used her artistic licence to lie to the whole world about the situation at home at a time when Zimbabweans are re-engaging the international community to try and rebuild the economy.
For those who have been in touch with the real Zimbabwean situation they would be the first to question the relevancy of such an installation when it is clear that the piece has long passed its sell-by date.
The inclusive Government, the turnaround of the economy and the constitutional reforms are not reflected in the installation.
Unlike other outstanding pieces exhibited by Zimbabwean artists who include Sasa Masimba, that have attracted scores of art suitors for taking pride in the motherland, “Footsteps of Change” raises a lot of questions whether or not the artists come from the same country.
Sithabile deliberately chose to take us back to the colonial era according to her it was the period between 1950 and 1975 and in quotes she wrote Her Majesty.
Then for the period 1980 to 1995 she puts in quotes His Excellency. But the contrast on the installation is that for the period under her majesty the white footsteps were moving forward perhaps up on the ladder of progress and then for the period under his Excellency it was the black footsteps which were going up while the white footsteps were going down.
But below the footsteps is where you find the most controversial part. Zimbabwe is portrayed as an ailing pregnant woman.
Her eyes sunken, frail and is expecting to give birth. She is lying on the floor with her bulging belly all covered up by the colourful Zimbabwean flag while latex gloves are spread all over her face.
Her depleted face could be the result of her ill-health as she ponders about her future as well as that of her baby. It is almost obvious that she is not sure what the future holds but again she has to give birth when the time comes.
The impression that one gets is perhaps that Zimbabwe’s inclusive government is on the brink of collapse as somewhere below the pregnant woman is an egg like mortar inscribed with the words ‘Birth of baby fragile’.
But the worst about the installation is a mixed media painting showing a wounded white man’s hand and a black man’s wounded foot.
The white man’s hand is bleeding and the drops of blood are going straight into the wound of the black foot.
On the canvas there is an inscription that says: ‘Simunye kuzekubenini?’
Sithabile has been living in the Netherlands for the past five or so years. Her installation has been showing throughout Europe although back home little is known about her works.
Even the exhibition catalogue says little about her background and she claims to be a ‘daughter of the soil’. Yes, at the end of the day we all have to survive. But earning a living through lies is off the line. Zimbabwean art and in particular, Shona sculpture is revered throughout the world for its depth, form and content but it is all the more startling to see artists like Sithabile feeding off lies.
The exhibition has since raised the ire of Lazarus Dokora, the Deputy Minister of Education, Sport, Art and Culture who is also the head of the Zimbabwean delegation.
Dokora said he sought a meeting with the Algerian Minister of Culture to find out just how the installation made it the festival with their consent.

“‘As far as we know the installation did not come through us. We are deeply concerned about the content of the installation in fact, we are worried how the installation found its way here,”‘ he said.
Efforts to get comments from Sithabile were fruitless as she had already left Algeria just before the official opening of the exhibition while the curator was said to be out of town.
The second Panaf is being under the theme ‘African Cultural Renaissance’ aimed at reinforcing the spirit of friendship and unity among African people as endorsed by the African Union.
Zimbabwe is among the 53 African countries taking part with a good representation in the various art disciplines such as visuals, theatre, dance, music and film.
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In July 2009, a work by Zimbabwean artist Sithabile Mlotshwa, presented as part of the Pan-African Festival in Algiers, strongly upset the Zimbabwean government represented by its Minister of Education. He informed the Algerian authorities and an article published in the Zimbabwean press (listed on various websites). Through an open letter to the minister, philosopher and art critic Yacouba Konaté protests against these practices and pays tribute to the creative freedom of Sithabile Mlotshwa.

Open Letter to Mr. Lazarus Dokora,
Deputy Minister of Education, Sport, Art and Culture of Zimbabwe
Abidjan August 12, 2009

Subject: Footsteps of change

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Deputy Minister,
I am writing this letter in my own name and in the light of the history and missions of the International Association of Art Critics (IACA) whose members have honored me with elect as president for a few years.
The AICA is an NGO created in 1950. Rejected as the proponents of a degenerate art, many contemporary artists had been persecuted during the Second World War by the Nazis.
To prevent such injustices from being perpetrated in the general silence, intellectuals and professionals of criticism and exhibition have made the commitment to accompany the art being made. You will understand then that for any critic of art, censorship in all its forms, and in its repressive form in particular, is definitely a retrograde practice and an unacceptable liberticide. And when there are cases of censorship in Africa, it is up to critics in Africa to alert their colleagues around the world, and opinion in general. In this regard, Mr. Lazarus Dokora, I address you as Head of the Delegation of Zimbabwe at the 2nd Pan-African Cultural Festival in Algiers. 
Deputy Minister Footsteps of exchange , Sithabile Mlotshwa’s work presented in the framework of the 2nd pan-African cultural festival of Algiers from July 6 to September 3, 2009, at SAFEX, in the exhibition African art at female,did not have the honor to please you. You made it known. Following your good offices, the Zimbabwean authorities sent a letter of protest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria against the presence of Footsteps of Change in the selection of the exhibition.
This approach, which aims at the diplomatic incident, manifests an authoritarianism that disturbs the observers of the political and social evolution of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is a country that was a hope for Africa and the free world, before unfortunately sinking into the painful social crisis it is going through right now. From this traumatic experience, it can educate the world in general and the countries that have pioneered social conflict. Still, the respect of differences and divergences should be built into intangible principles.
Mr. Deputy Minister, your participation in the current national unity government, following the electoral victories of your party MDC, could, should have, urged you to banish, and forever, the repression of your practices. Indeed, your party and its leaders have suffered from the throes of political censorship and violence. Moreover, since the crisis includes a racial register, we must remember that as a white Zimbabwean, like your reference community, you are historically located: located on the side of colonization and apartheid and state violence; located on the side of the victims of the abuses which in recent years have suffered state violence in the form of exactions, various expropriations. This specific trajectory could have inspired your scrupulous respect for human rights.

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Detail Footsteps of Change by Sithabile Mlotshwa

Like all dictators, you take yourself for your Country and for its People. And you pretend to believe that the whole world is obliged to see the world and especially the works of art, through your eyes. Only, in art as in science, one sees especially with the eyes of the intelligence and the heart. And intelligent men are humble because they experience daily the objective and subjective limits of what remains to know and understand.
Mr. Deputy Minister, re-enter! To help you, remember that word of the Stoics who divide the world in what depends on us, and what does not depend on us.
It did not depend on you that Sithabile Mlotshwa was selected for the Pan-African festival of Algiers and it will not depend on you that Footsteps of change is seen and reviewed in several art spaces in Africa, Europe and the United States. That this lady is on the lists of the most prestigious exhibitions in Africa and in the world, is out of your skills.
Sithabile Mlotshwa is a well-known and internationally acclaimed artist in Zimbabwe, where she has exhibited in the most prestigious institutions. These facts are beyond your authority. You can not do anything.
It did not depend on you that her works enter important museums where they coexist with the greatest names in modern and contemporary universal creation. It is not up to you that she is the Res Artis General Secretary and the director and initiator of the Thamgidi Foundation, an artist-in-residence exchange program.
It does not depend on you being a resource person whose many professionals are proud of Zimbabwe and Africa.
But it depends on you to love or not to love her job or even her person.
You are free to read her works as you feel them, including accusing her of “using artistic freedom to lie” about the situation in her country. But think that beside you or in front, in a low voice or at the top of your lungs , some receive Footsteps of change as a work dedicated by the artist to her grandmother, born in 1910 and deceased in 2007 in a general historical context in which the time of Her Majesty opens on that of his Excellency.

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Detail, Footsteps of Change by Sithabile Mlotshwa

And free to go to our misinterpretations and see in this egg at the bottom of the room, the metaphor of all the countries that give birth in pain, a peace as fragile as an egg ; an egg to take with white gloves of truth, justice and love. The blood flowing from the arm of the white man falls needlessly. Just as needlessly, sinks that of the black man’s foot. White blood is not white. Black blood is not black. The blood of the half-breeds is not mixed. The blue blood of princes is only a fantasy. All bloods are red. Red like pain, but red like life. Wherever man is unjustly wounded, it is the whole of humanity that is bleeding. The Footsteps of Change installation has gloves for us. Let us serve without moderation.

It depends on you to give your judgment of taste and value, the strength of intelligence and the wisdom of respect for human rights and freedom of expression.
We respect your position, please respect ours.

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Detail, Footsteps of Change by Sithabile Mlotshwa

It is up to you and your fellow ministers to stop the bullying and restrictions that are causing unnecessary suffering to Zimbabweans in general, and to artists in Zimbabwe in particular.
It depends in part on you that the leaders of Zimbabwe, Great Zimbabwe, are up to the fabulous Shona sculptures that have traveled around the world.
It is up to you that the political authorities of Zimbabwe, including you, who rise to the height of the creativity of prodigious contemporary artists, including Sithabile Mlotshwa, and many others, are now incompressible relays.
Deputy Minister, history is watching us. On our scale, today’s little quarrels may not be worth half-line ink. However, in our fairly democratized countries, it is in liters of tears and blood that sometimes the words and positions of politicians of your like are translated. By your positions at the last Panafricain cultural festival in Algiers, you have contributed to increase the specifications of Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular, in terms of unnecessary suffering ??

Abidjan, Ivory Coast, August 2009. /// Article No .: 8869</small”>



Afrikanische Union

Zimbabwe: Sithabile benutzt künstlerische Lizenz zu liegenImage result for sithabile mlotshwa footsteps of change

Algiers – eine Installation, die „Schritte der Änderung“ betitelt wird, bedroht, Zimbabwes rebranding Bemühungen durch Government zu ersticken, während sie sucht, Spiel niederzuwerfen die einige Verbesserungen, die bis jetzt von der einschließlichen Regierung. erzielt werden. 

Die umstrittene Installation durch Sithabile Mlotshwa, der auf Anzeige an der Pavillion A SAFEX Galerie als Teil der laufenden zweiten Ausgabe des Wannen-afrikanischen Festivals von Algiers ist, sät nicht nur Samen des Hasses, aber zeigt auch, wie viel Sithabile aus Synchronisierung mit Wirklichkeit heraus. ist.

Sie benutzte ihre künstlerische Lizenz, zur ganzen Welt über die Situation zu Hause zu liegen, zu einer Zeit als Simbabwer die internationale Gemeinschaft wieder einstellen, um die Wirtschaft zu versuchen und umzubauen.

Für die, die in der Note mit der realen simbabwischen Situation gewesen sind, würden sie die ersten sein, zum der Bedeutung solch einer Installation in Frage zu stellen, wenn es frei ist, dass das Stück lang sein verkaufen-durch Datum. geführt hat.

Die einschließliche Regierung, der Rücklauf der Wirtschaft und die Verfassungsreformen werden nicht in der Installation. reflektiert.

Anders als andere hervorragende Stücke, die von den simbabwischen Künstlern aufgewiesen werden, die mit.einschließen Sasa Masimba, haben das Kerben der Kunstbewerber für das Nehmen des Stolzes im Mutterland, „Schritte der Änderung“ aufwirft viele Fragen angezogen, ob die Künstler vom gleichen Land. kommen.

Sithabile beschloß absichtlich, uns zurück zu der Kolonialära entsprechend ihr zu nehmen, die es der Zeitraum zwischen 1950 und 1975 war und in den Anführungsstrichen schrieb sie Ihre Majestät.

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Detail installation Footsteps of Change by Sithabile Mlotshwa

Dann während des Zeitraums 1980 bis 1995 setzt sie in Anführungsstriche seine Exzellenz ein. Aber der Kontrast auf der Installation ist der während des Zeitraums unter Ihre Majestät, welche die weißen Schritte sich vorwärts möglicherweise oben auf der Strichleiter des Fortschritts und dann während des Zeitraums unter seine Exzellenz verschoben, es die schwarzen Schritte war, die stiegen, während die weißen Schritte unten. gingen.

Aber unter den Schritten ist, wo Sie finden, dass das umstrittenste Fach Zimbabwe als kränkliche schwangere Frau. geschildert wird.

Sie die Augen versunken, schwach und erwartet, zu entbinden. Sie liegt auf dem Fußboden mit ihrem ausbauchenden Bauch, der ganz oben durch die bunte simbabwische Markierungsfahne bedeckt wird, während Latexhandschuhe ganz über ihrem Gesicht. verbreitet werden.

Ihr verbrauchtes Gesicht könnte das Resultat ihres schlechten Gesundheitszustandes sein, wie sie über ihre Zukunft sowie die ihres Babys erwägt. Es liegt fast auf der Hand, dass sie nicht sicher ist, was die zukünftigen Einflüsse aber wieder sie geben muss Geburt, wenn die Zeit. kommt.

Der Eindruck, der man erhält, ist möglicherweise dieses Zimbabwes einschließliche Regierung ist am Rande des Einsturzes, wie irgendwo unter der schwangeren Frau ein Ei wie der Mörser ist, der mit den Wörtern „die Geburt des Babys zerbrechlich“. eingeschrieben wird.

Aber das schlechteste über die Installation ist die Mischmittel, die das Zeigen einer verletzten Hand des weißen Mannes und des verwundeten Fusses des schwarzen Mannes. malen.

Die Hand des weißen Mannes ist Bluten und die Tropfen des Bluts steigen gerade in die Wunde des schwarzen Fusses. ein.

Auf dem Segeltuch gibt es eine Beschreibung, die sagt: „Simunye kuzekubenini?“.

Sithabile hat in den Niederlanden für die letzten fünf oder so in den Jahren gelebt. Ihre Installation hat in Europa dargestellt, obgleich rückseitiges Haupt wenig über ihre Arbeiten. bekannt.

Sogar sagt der Ausstellungkatalog, dass wenig über ihren Hintergrund und sie behauptet, eine „Tochter des Bodens“ zu sein.

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Ja am Ende des Tages alle müssen wir überleben. Aber, ein Leben durch Lügen zu erwerben ist weg von der Linie.

Simbabwische Kunst und insbesondere, Shona Skulptur wird weltweit für seine Tiefe, Form und Inhalt geverehrt, aber sie ist aufrüttelnder, Künstler wie Sithabile zu sehen, das weg von den Lügen. einzieht.

Die Ausstellung hat seit dem den Zorn von Lazarus Dokora, der Staatssekretär der Ausbildung, des Sports, der Kunst und der Kultur aufgeworfen, die auch der Kopf der simbabwischen Delegation. ist.

Dokora sagte, dass er an einer Sitzung mit dem algerischen Minister der Kultur teilnahm, um herauszufinden, gerade wie die Installation es das Festival mit ihrer Zustimmung. bildete.

“ „, insoweit wir wissen, dass die Installation nicht durch uns kam. Wir werden tief über den Inhalt der Installation tatsächlich betroffen, wir sind besorgt, wie die Installation seine Weise hier fand, „“ er sagten.

Bemühungen, Anmerkungen von Sithabile zu erhalten waren unfruchtbar, wie sie verließ bereits Algerien kurz vor der amtlichen eröffnung der Ausstellung hatte, während der Kurator aus Stadt heraus. sollte.

Das zweite Panaf ist unter dem Thema „die afrikanische kulturelle Renaissance“, die angestrebt wird, den Geist der Freundschaft und der Einheit unter afrikanischen Leuten zu verstärken, wie durch die Afrikanische Union indossiert.

Zimbabwe gehört zu den 53 afrikanischen Ländern, die mit einer guten Darstellung an den verschiedenen Kunstdisziplinen wie Sichtbarmachungen, Theater, Tanz, Musik und Film teilnehmen.


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Sithabile Mlotshwa commissioned for the only work in the UK  by Zimbabwean artist for the Glasgow Museum’s collection.

World Cultures: Africa

Collection Significance Report:

Patricia Allan, March 2008

About this Document

This document is extracted from a report by Glasgow Museums submitted to the Scottish Executive’s Recognition Committee as part of its recognition scheme for non-national collections.


World Cultures are understood as ‘non-western’ human cultures. Within museums they relate to the preservation of and access to historical, archaeological and art collections, brought together from around the world. Africa is the world’s second largest continent and became the subject of intense activity by western powers (and explorers and anthropologists) in the nineteenth century. It is from this period that most museum collections derive.

Collection Size

4461 objects: West Africa (1416), Central Africa (422), East Africa (459), North Africa (213), South Africa (766).

The Collection

The African collection has material covering the period 1850-2005. It includes a  broad range of cultural artefacts such as ceremonial masks, carvings, weapons, domestic items, body ornaments, costume, textiles, furniture, musical instruments, ritual objects and wood, stone and metal carvings.

In addition there are a number of unique items and others that are rare examples of  their originating cultures such as an ancestral screen from the Kalabari people of the Niger River Delta in Nigeria, an East African ceremonial cape of colobus monkey skins, a rare carved wooden funerary screen from the KalabariIjo in Nigeria, an Afro-

Portuguese dagger from Sherbro Island in Sierra Leone, and a pair of rare Venda carved initiation figures from South Africa.

This document has been downloaded from Glasgow Museums Collections Navigator under a Creative Commons Licence:

Some Rights Reserved

Collection Significance

This collection is the second largest African collection in Scotland and is one of the most significant of its kind in Europe. It largely represents African culture at the time of the British colonial administration. There a few collections of treasures obtained as a result of various military campaigns, in common with many other British museums.

In addition, a significant number of collections made by missionaries and teachers have been acquired. Their empathy with the local people and lifetime periods of service has resulted in an overall range of material that encompasses not only the weapons, ritual masks and carvings prevalent in all museums, but also costumes and domestic items freely given to the collectors by the original owners.

Historically, the collections’ strengths lie primarily in their connections with Glasgow’s missionary involvement with Africa, particularly in West, East and Central Africa. There is a paucity of contemporary material from Southern Africa in Scottish museum collections. Although Glasgow’s collection is small it is still the largest in the country. The African collection offers excellent research potential. In addition to individual objects of interest, there are a number of large collections donated by individuals of historical interest, none of which have been fully researched or published. These include the William B. Scott collection of material from the Kingdom of Kuba and the 1898 collection of Bennet Burleigh taken from the battlefield of Um’durman.

The Guy Massie-Taylor collections of Mende, Sowei and Gongoli masks was meticulously recorded in the field by the donor and, in addition to the objects themselves, the collection encompasses Massie-Taylor’s extensive field notes, drawings and photographs which enables comprehensive research to be undertaken. The collection of Kikuyu domestic items and body ornaments representing age sets and social status from Kenya and Uganda, donated by the missionary Marion Scott Stephenson, is of particular interest as this type of material is not normally the focus of colonial collectors of the period.

Other significant objects include a number of unique items, such as an Afro-Portuguese dagger from Sherbro Island, Sierra Leone, and an East African ceremonial cape of colobus monkey skins. There are also a number of rare examples of source cultures rarely found in museums, including the East African collections of Kikuyu and Nandi material, a carved wooden funerary screen from the KalabariIjo, Nigeria, and a pair of rare Venda carved initiation figures from South Africa.

More recent material includes the Pot of Life, the only contemporary leaded brass sculpture from Benin City, Nigeria, in a UK museum. There is also the only work in the UK by the Zimbabwean artist S’thabile Mlotshwa – an ostrich egg sculpture entitled Bringing Water to the African People.


Brown, A. K. (2006) ‘TheKelvingrove ‘New Century Project’: Changing Approaches to Displaying World Cultures in Glasgow’. Journal of Museum Ethnography, vol 18: 37-47.

Glasgow Museums (1987) Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, Collins.

Glasgow Museums (forthcoming) Out of this World: World Cultures and Glasgow Museums, Glasgow Museums.

Jacobs, Julian (1986), ‘African Art at the Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum’, African Arts, Volume XIX, Number 2.

Kwasnik, Elizabeth (ed.) (1994) A Wider World: Collections of Foreign Ethnography in Scotland, National Museums of Scotland.

Lovelace, Antonia (1991), ‘The African Collections at Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum’, Journal of Museum Ethnography No. 3 (October) (African Anthropology in Scotland).

Massie-Taylor, Guy (1980), Art of the Mende from Sierra Leone, the Guy Massie-Taylor Collection, Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries.

Thompson, Robert Farris (1983), Flash of the Spirit, Random House, 247-8.

How to Cite this Document

The full bibliographic reference for this document is shown below. Make sure to add the date you downloaded the document.

Allan, P (2008) Collection Significance Report: World Cultures: Africa, Glasgow Museums, online at:

This document is released under a Creative Commons license requiring attribution and prohibiting commercial and derivative exploitation. For more information see

Glasgow Museums Resource Centre | 200 Woodhead Road | Glasgow G53 7NN | Phone 0141 276 9300 | Fax 0141 276 9375 | |

This document has been downloaded from Glasgow Museums Collections Navigator under a Creative Commons Licence:  Some Rights Reserved


The ups and downs of being a Zimbabwean artist in the diaspora

An interview with S’thabile Mlotshwa by Barbara Murray

3,062 words

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Painting by Sithabile Mlotshwa

A few weeks ago, it was reported that Zimbabwean artist S’thabile Mlotshwa met and had lunch with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh at the royal official opening of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow where one of her artworks is now part of the permanent collection alongside artworks by Rembrandt, Picasso and other old masters. This energetic and extrovert young woman tells us what it is all about.

Q: What is the background to having your work alongside Picasso and others in Glasgow?

S’thabile: The artwork displayed at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum was commissioned for the Cultural Survival Gallery. The curator asked me to make an installation or sculpture to represent water-related issues in the southern and eastern part of Africa. The title of the work is “Bringing Water to the African People” and it is made of ostrich eggshell, porcupine quills, hemp and charcoal. The egg vessel consists of three important elements: the rope represents continuous hope, the broken pieces of eggshell around the outer part of the vessel stand for the different communities of Africa who share the same need for water, and the lines on the vessel represent the connection the indigenous peoples have to water.

Q: How did you feel seeing your work displayed near the “old masters”?

S’thabile: When I began working on the commission, I had no idea about the works displayed in Kelvingrove, nor what Kelvingrove was. To me it was just a commissioned work, which I would do and when it was done that would be it. I began realising the seriousness of the project when I had to deliver the completed artwork and I had to work with a conservator, who in turn had to take over the care of my artwork until the time came for me to install it at the museum. I suddenly found myself in this grand, beautiful building, which at the time was still closed for refurbishment. When I saw the space, the art works, I was in disbelief. It had always been my dream to show my work in the same building where the old masters had hung. But to be able to display my work a few rooms from not only one of the old masters but a group of many of them is a great honour. Not only that but also having my work as part of the permanent collection of the second-most-visited museum outside London… wow! Not to mention having to meet and dine with the Queen… something I never imagined.

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Sithabile Mlotshwa being introduced to her Majesty the Queen of England during the official re-opening of Kelvingrove Museums and Galleries

Q: Is it important to see your work alongside “great artists”?

S’thabile: Yes, I find it very important, especially because they are the greatest masters in Europe, who have left a great mark of their work and existence. Since living in the Netherlands, I never imagined it possible to have my work as part of a permanent collection of a museum with artworks by Rembrandt, but now my work is displayed on the same floor with him and others. I find it a great achievement. I am no longer in some corner only for the “African feeling” or shown in an exhibition of African art. It brings me great pride that I, Sithabile Mlotshwa Mgidi Makhawulane Ngwalazindeni Ngwalongwalo Mazibuko Phakathi, born in Bulawayo Zimbabwe, and having done my art education at Mzilikazi Art Centre, am now displayed in a grand museum alongside “great artists”.

Q: Mzilikazi Art Centre is a long way from Rembrandt. What kind of art education did you have?

S’thabile: The art education I had was Western based, without much emphasis on Western art history. It was more about the technique, which I also use, but which does not have anything to do with my expression as an individual. Having majored as a fine artist, I came out not knowing what I would do next. Knowing that my father was against me becoming an artist in the first place, made it even more difficult to find my way. I then decided to further my education by taking up a course in applied fashion and design. Within a year I knew I was in the wrong place. With the help of my former lecturer, Tomy Ndebele, I got a studio space where my journey began as a practising artist. 

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Painting by Sithabile Mlotshwa

Q: Tomy must have been very important to you. Who else has influenced you? Who are your favourite artists, Zimbabwean and others?

S’thabile: My international favourite artists are Picasso, Goya, Frida Kahlo, Pollock and Gaudi with his amazing buildings. My favourite artists from back home are Adam Madebe, Joseph Muzondo, Zephania Tshuma and Rashid Jogee. However none of these artists have influenced my work. Travelling in West Europe gave me the chance to know more about artists from this part of the world. My work, on the other hand, has been, or maybe still is, a process that needs defining. All I can say is that my work is a representation of my feelings and thoughts, ever changing, depending on what I am feeling and where I am. My influences come from my past and present experiences. Their impact in my work depends on how much those experiences affect me positively or negatively. I must add that a sense of loss, identity, pain and a great desire to make a difference lately seem to be what drives my creative process, in comparison to the past where suppression, frustration, anger and pain were my drive.

Q: What is the impact of your art education, the type of introduction to art you had, or lack of it, on your approach to making art?

S’thabile: The impact of my art education on my approach to making art has not been positive. What I mean is, the way I express myself in my art is related to the way I had my art education. This has made it difficult for my work to be well received in Europe in 

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Artwork by Sithabile Mlotshwa

the sense that the people who have viewed my work and have loved or been impressed by it, when they heard that I was from Africa it disappointed them as my work, to them, was “not African”, whatever that means. It is something I have come across many times when exhibiting or showing people my work. Which, in turn, led me to start questioning why my work was not viewed as original but as a copy of European art?! My answer came when a Dutch fellow artist made a comment about my work. What this artist said was that she noticed that many African artists copy the European way of art-making when creating their works, and that she had noticed that I was now finding my own way which was more African. I did not really know how to react, but I was happy that at least she was honest enough to say her true thoughts about how she viewed or related to the artworks created by artists from the African continent. Many people I have met who collect art from Africa, and or are interested in what they call African art, believe that “African” artists only create works with blood, saliva, gum Arabic and grass. I therefore, through my work, represent a continent and a visual culture with supposedly no diversity!


Q: How has leaving Zimbabwe influenced your life, work and approach to art-making?

S’thabile: I left Zimbabwe for personal reasons. Moving to Europe drastically changed me. In other words, it killed me. I was dead for at least 2-and-a-half years. Happy but very unhappy, in love but very lonely and alone. At home, but far from home. The out-going, outspoken, energetic, loud-laughing, free-spirited person I used to be was gone. Replaced by someone I did not recognise. Someone who no longer spoke, was sad, trapped, lived in the shadows, and was dead. When you look at my work from that period, you can see someone completely lost, purposeless and directionless. 

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Sithabile Mlotshwa’s painting from the series – Living in the Diaspora

It took a while but my fire came back, and when I began to feel life in me again, I started putting together an exhibition called Living in the Diaspora. It marked my arrival, rebirth and reconnecting with my past and the world. During my ‘death’ phase, I cut off most contact with all my friends, colleagues and family. I could not reach myself and was unreachable. The exhibition was my opening window to let in the world I once knew and had shut down. I was now strong enough to let them see where I had been and what had happened to me. The exhibition itself shocked a lot of my friends and family. Some found the works depressing. Some said the work was not typical of me, that my previous works were happy and celebrating life. They could not make the connection to what was now on display. Most of them having come from far away had difficulty understanding the exhibition I had said was the symbol of my rebirth – they found it depressing. Nonetheless it was rebirth and the old me was reborn… but better, stronger and wiser.

Q: What differences are there in showing your work in Europe compared to showing in Zimbabwe?

S’thabile: The differences are huge. Showing my work in Europe has been for me the worst nightmare. I can say that it has been the biggest nail and hand that kept me dead since my arrival here. I am somehow still perplexed by why it was possible and easier for me to be invited to exhibit internationally and participate in residency programmes in Europe when I was living in Zimbabwe and yet impossible to show my work as a Zimbabwean living in Europe.

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Artwork by Sithabile Mlotshwa from the installation Footsteps of Change

The worst nightmare of showing my work in Europe is and has been the representation. My experience is that it has been about showing the “African” artist, or selling the exotic “African” feeling, not really looking at the artwork or why it is made or what the artist is trying to put across. I have many times been in situations where someone looks at my work and then says “Oh that looks like you have been influenced by so-and-so”, meaning an artist from Europe. This, in turn, becoming the way in which they view my work, and which to them means that it is not an “original” artwork but a “copy” from the reference familiar to them.

Showing in Zimbabwe was different in the sense that it was about my work and the message in it and not about my colour or where I came from. This I find important as it gives an artist a platform to air their views, allows their voice to be heard and gives a sense of belonging and acceptance, which in turn leads to understanding, appreciating and giving value to the artwork. Not only that but it also helps the artists to keep growing without feeling they have to prostitute themselves in order to display their work or save their artistic practice.

Q: What is the main subject matter of your recent artwork?

S’thabile: The main subject matter of my recent work, “Footsteps of Change”, is where I examine or look back at Zimbabwe in the past and Zimbabwe today, at my identity, history and cultural heritage. I am retracing the steps of history and cultural heritage with the hope to understand what role this has had in shaping who I am, what my country is, my identity, and that of fellow Zimbabweans at home and living in the diaspora. “Footsteps of Change” is a large installation, which presents 12 heads, each with a name and each representing historical changes in Zimbabwe from 1900 to the present and into the future. The year 1900 is chosen because it is the year my late grandmother was born. Also part of the installation is a coffin containing a pregnant corpse covered with a Zimbabwean flag. It represents the death and birth of hope.

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We are one, until when, artwork by Sithabile Mlotshwa

On one painted panel, words appear: “We are one, until when??!! What happens to one can happen to one!! Can you forgive, heal? The wounds of another-healing, forgiving”, then again and again “What happens to one, can happen to one”.

And there is a fragile structure held together by a net… it is a womb. It is the desperate, uncertain and frail situation in back home.

Q: How has the subject changed over the years?

S’thabile: When I first moved to Europe, the subject matter was more about finding myself, being lost in a country unfamiliar to anything from my past. When I look back now, I see that I spent many years in the dark, a darkness of not belonging, not fitting and being different. And this occupied my mind for a very long time and is very much reflected in my previous works.

Q: What are your current concerns and interests?

S’thabile: My concerns at present are about my country. I am constantly wondering what is really happening there, at the same time not really knowing what it would be like to go back. All I hear from my family is that Zimbabwe has become Chinese, how rapidly things are changing and how they prefer the old Egypt to the new Egypt. This constant hearing of the uncertainty of things, the value of products going from 5 dollars to millions of dollars and now to thousands of dollars does not settle in.Image may contain: indoor

I have been away from home for 6 years. When I left Zimbabwe, things were beautiful, hopeful, or maybe it was my longing. But what I hear now I cannot comprehend. I have a great longing to return, but so much has happened I have lost so much that I do not know where I would begin if I were to return. What I mean by losing so much is that I lost a lot of my relatives to Aids, two brothers last year and in the past two years a total of 25 people. For a while I dreaded picking up the phone with the fear that I would be told that someone else had died. It went to an extent whereby at some point my family conversations started and ended with who had died, who they thought was next and how long they had. It has now become a part of my life to get mail that two or three people have died or complete families are gone, so much that there is no one to bury the remaining sick. This is one of my main concerns… when this catastrophe will end?

My other concern is about my being in the diaspora, the difficulties I have encountered with living in this part of the world, my identity, my children’s identity and future. How it will be when I go back? I wonder whether I will be enriched spiritually and culturally, or poor, much poorer? I am occupied by the importance of not losing my roots, and preserving my culture, while at the same time embracing another culture. What interests me is how other diasporans are coping. When I look at preserving my culture, I go back to my history, to who I am and I find myself somehow filled with a sense of sadness as I am confronted by the fact that I am a product of colonization, with a loss of historical and cultural identity.

I recall my first visit to Europe, which was in 1996 during my residency at the Konstepidemin in Sweden, which for me was the biggest culture shock ever. While in transit I had to go to the bathroom and there before me was a white woman cleaning the toilets. I will never forget how guilty I felt seeing her doing such work. In my mind, that work was meant for me, as that is what I was accustomed to. The first thought that came to my mind was asking if I could help her, then I hesitated with the shame of sounding ridiculous. I quickly left the bathroom and joined my companions in disbelief at what I had just witnessed. Later on I was served in a restaurant by another white person. The more this happened, the more I got confused. My Swedish experience was more of an unreal dream, which confirmed its unreality when I returned home to what I was more familiar… to serving, being fearful, unworthy etc.

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Sithabile Mlotshwa first artist in residency in Europe, Goteborg Sweden with Nils Ramhøj Silva Dunduro and Linnea åhlander

In short, coming to Europe and living here has been a lesson that we are all the same, equal human beings, with needs, feelings, history etc. This in turn has brought about the desire and great longing to rediscover who I really and truly am, what my rich stolen historical and cultural background is, and how I can somehow rewrite it and preserve it for my children, children’s children, and generations thereafter.

Q: You have recently started an exciting venture called Thamgidi. What is it about?

S’thabile: My reasons for setting up Thamgidi were because it was something I wanted to achieve, building a bridge between the Visual Artists Association in Bulawayo (VAAB) and an association in the Netherlands. Before I left Zimbabwe, I was the chairperson of the VAAB and we had international artists coming for exchange programmes, also from the Netherlands, and this gave me more drive to have this continuous exchange and dialogue. This however did not happen for many reasons, including my 2-and-a-half-year death period. What I came to realise was that it was very difficult for a foreign artist to get into the art scene, and all the challenges of finding a good gallery that could represent you or be forced to totally give up your artistic practice. It became my drive to create a refuge for artists. My hope for the Thamgidi Studio Foundation is to provide artists with opportunities to develop their artistic process and engage in dialogue in order to promote reciprocity of cultures. As a young foundation I think we are doing very well. This being our first year as a registered foundation, we have managed to give five grants, three of which are fully funded residency awards. The other two are prizes for stimulating artistic practice and were awarded to two artists in Zimbabwe. We are working towards many projects e.g. expanding our educational programme through our new project called Children First.

Q: And finally, what role does art have in the world today and why do you think it is important?

S’thabile: For me the role of art is breaking down barriers in order to bring about understanding and appreciation of what is happening in another culture. It is a universal language to overcome differences.



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Foto van 'Global Village Media'

15 APR 2010

Het Hivos Cultuurfonds organiseert een kunstworkshop en verkoopexpositie tijdens de Afrikadag. Centraal staat het werk van vier Zimbabwaanse kunstenaars. De kunstenares Sithabile Mlotshwa leidt de workshop en geeft haar visie op de functie van kunst.
“Kunst heeft de functie van een spiegel, het toont de realiteit van een land. Een land kan zich niet ontwikkelen zonder cultuur. Wanneer mensen niet vrij zijn om zich te uiten in een kunstvorm, bestaat er geen hoop voor het land. Daarom zijn projecten die kunst en cultuur ondersteunen belangrijk in landen als Zimbabwe”, zegt Sithabile Mlotshwa. “Met kunst kun je een mening tonen die afwijkt van de officiële mening, maar dat is in landen als Zimbabwe niet zonder risico. Ik woon niet voor niets in Nederland.”
Dat wil niet zeggen dat Afrikaanse kunst altijd politiek moet zijn. Dat blijkt ook uit het werk van de vier exposerende kunstenaars. “Deze kunst gaat over mensen, persoonlijke problemen, eenzaamheid, verlies, de positie van de vrouw, etc. Onderwerpen die voor de bevolking in Zimbabwe herkenbaar zijn. Maar het zijn ook universele problemen. Het werk van deze kunstenaars kan iedereen aanspreken. Dat is kunst!”

– Kom zelf kijken op de Afrikadag op 24 april in Den Haag en laat je verrassen door de vele inhoudelijke en culturele activiteiten over Afrika. Hivos geeft 5 x 2 vrijkaartjes weg. Mail vandaag nog je naam en adresgegevens naar (o.v.v. Afrikadag). Uiterlijk 19 april krijgen de winnaars bericht. Hivos gebruikt uw gegevens om u in de toekomst te informeren over haar activiteiten.


NSK State Pavilion, 2017. Courtesy of IRWIN.

NSK State Pavilion

Ca’ Tron, IUAV University of Venice

11 May 2017 — 15 Jul 2017

NSK State in Time is delighted to announce the launch of the NSK State Pavilion, occurring in the context of the 57th Venice Biennale, opening with an inaugural lecture by prolific philosopher, psychoanalyst and criticSlavoj Žižek.

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Thamgidi Studio is an artist led organization which supports international artists’ exchange. We believe that reciprocity of cultures, or the lack of it, is the subject which has great impact on the development of our societies, in the past, now and in the long run. In order to promote communication, understanding and to connect cultures, we believe that art plays a major role. Our goal is to create a platform for intercultural dialogue, by organizing international artists exchange projects, with (e.g. artists in residence, exhibitions, debates and workshops), promoting art education, giving financial support for artists in residency projects and travel grants.

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“Oorlog: ben je medeplichtig?”

Amsterdam, 9 april 2009 “Oorlog: ben je medeplichtig?” Videokunstenaar Frouwkje Smit daagt kunstcollega’s en publiek uit tot een confronterende dialoog. Nu met het programma voor 18 & 19 april Zaterdag 18 en zondag 19 april 2009, tijdens de Open Ateliers Zeeburg, toont videokunstenaar Frouwkje Smit doorlopend haar nieuwste documentaire ‘The missing book’ in Crossfire Project Base in Pakhuis Wilhelmina, Amsterdam. In ‘The missing book’ vertelt de politiek schrijver Koulsy Lamko uit Tsjaad over zijn gevecht met het boek Darfur, dat verloren raakte toen zijn computers werden gestolen. Ook spreekt hij over oorlog en onze medeplichtigheid daaraan als passief toekijkende medemensen.

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The role of Art in Society

a reflection on Zimbabwean art and artists by a artist in Exile



In het kader van de tentoonstelling ‘Zimbabwaanse Kunst in de Haarlemse Buitenruimte’ houdt de Zimbabwaanse kunstenares Sithabile Mlotshwa op woensdagavond 6 oktober een lezing in het ABC. Zij gaat in op de rol van kunst in de samenleving van haar moederland. De lezing zal geheel in het Engels zijn.Sithabile Mlotshwa heeft aan veel internationale exposities meegewerkt. Werken van haar maken deel uit van de permanente collectie in de National Gallery in Bulawayo. Mlotshwa illustreerde boeken en was betrokken bij de restauratie van een kerk (Cyrene Mission) die op de werelderfgoed lijst van de UNESCO staat.  Sithabile Mlotshwa is de oprichter en directeur van de Thamgidi Foundation. Deze stichting beheert een fonds voor culturele uitwisselingen. Daarnaast is zij artistiek leider van het International Festival of Arts in Arnhem.



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Bij de opening van het eerste Artist in Residency Danya’s Sanctuary in Huissen zegde wethouder Theo Janssen (cultuur, Lingewaard Nu) de in de residency verblijvende kunstenaars expositieruimte toe in het oude gemeentehuis.

Huissen – De twee initiatiefnemers Anja Bourgondiën en Sithabile Mlotshwa reageerden blij verrast op deze geste van de wethouder die naar verwachting ook in het nieuwe college de portefeuille cultuur zal beheren.
Het huis biedt plaats voor kunstenaars om in alle rust te werken aan een nieuw product, aldus Bourgondiën. ‘Geselecteerde kunstenaars kunnen hier een tot drie maanden verblijven om aan het eind van die periode hun nieuwe werk of een deel daarvan te presenteren.’ Beeldende kunstenaars, schrijvers en performers kunnen er terecht. Om in aanmerking te komen, worden kunstenaars vooraf gescreend, zodat niet iedereen er een soort vakantie kan houden. ‘Er moet gewerkt worden aan een nieuw product.’ De toezegging van de wethouder kwam als een volkomen verrassing. ‘Het is een mooie exposure voor kunstenaars die hier komen,’ zegt Mlotshwa enthousiast. Het Olde Stadhues, ‘t Convent geheten, biedt prachtige expositieruimtes.


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East Africa


Glasgow Museums has a collection of 508 objects from Eastern Africa, which date from 1892 to 2005. This collection comprises a broad range of cultural artefacts. It includes ceremonial masks, wooden carvings, weapons, domestic items, charms, smoking paraphernalia and regalia. There are also tools, agricultural implements, body ornaments, costume, textiles, furniture, furnishings, musical instruments, contemporary art and ritual objects. The collection contains examples from originating cultures rarely found in museums, such as the Kikuyu and Nandi material from the Marian Scott Stevenson collections, and a unique early Kenyan beaded ceremonial cape of colobus monkey skins, made during the period when the Imperial British East Africa Company administered the territory. There is a significant collection of material associated with the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie. A substantial collection of contemporary material ranges from 19 Makonde carvings acquired in 1991 to a mixed media sculpture by Sithabile Mlotshwa, the only UK commission by the Zimbabwean artist. Eastern Africa is comprised of 19 territories, including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The region has been explored and colonized by Arabs and, principally, Europeans since the 16th century and has been plagued by political instability. Glasgow’s collection from Eastern Africa is mainly connected with the missionary involvement within the region known primarily as the former British East Africa.

Broader term


Staff Contact

Patricia Allan


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About Dak’Art

Dak’Art is an international exhibition. The Biennale of Contemporary African Art aims at being a space of different prejudice-free visions. It provides an occasion to fight the propensity to be prejudiced about contemporary art as expressed by some African creators by giving the floor to a different category of experts working at other levels of the visual arts world who refuse to confine themselves within some certainties and are concerned about a certain ethic

Dak’Art includes a salon of design. About fifteen designers carried out their projects in Dakar with the help of local craftsmen and companies, following the example of the 2003 experience. This puts the local craftsmen in a new productive situation from working drawings, with greater attention on details, a great concern for accuracy and greater consistency in using the material.


  • Deborah Obalil, treasurer of Res Artis, director of the Alliance of Artists Communities, USA
  • N’Goné Fall, advisory member of Res Artis, curator and art critic, president of Gaw, Senegal
  • Gordon Knox, director of the Lucas Artists Programs at Montalvo Arts Center, California, USA
  • Nicholas Tsoutas, director of Casuela Power House, Sydney, Australia
  • Jari Rinne, director of Kulttuurikauppila li, Finland
  • Philip Huyghe, director of AIR Antwerpen, Belgium
  • Sithabile Mlotshwa, director of Thamgidi Studio Foundation, The Netherlands
  • Pauline Burmann, director of Thami Mnyele Foundation, The Netherlands
  • Anne Lundberg, representative of the Albers Foundation, USA
  • Blaire Dessent, Associate Director of Art Omi International Arts Center, USA
  • Tina Kuckhahn , director of Longhouse Cultural Center, USA
  • Mark Greenfield, director of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery for the Department of Cultural Affairs, USA
  • Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Director of Education & Public Programs for the Studio Museum, Harlem, USA
  • Todd Lester, director of FreeDimensional, USA
  • Hartweg Knack

Gordon Knox was a member of the international jury of the biennial

Nicholas Tsoutas was part of the conference program of the biennial and gave a lecture

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Kinshasa finally welcomes its first contemporary art biennale.

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Under the theme “avancer“ (forward), the first edition of the biennial “Yango” will raise the question of the expressive features offered by the Congo, a true source of inspiration and a well of ideas and concepts for creators worldwide.

The exhibition, which is curated by Sithabile Mlotshwa, will presents about 20 renowed artists from all over the world.

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How to encourage sustainable bottom-up approaches and work closely with local communities. How to develop partnerships which support community engagement on environmental challenges and sustainable development. With:

  • Chen Feng et Mu Wei, architects and co-founders of Natur Wuhan (CHN),
  • Anton Polsky a.k.a. MAKE and Igor Ponosov, Partizaning (RUS),
  • Marco Kusumawijaya, urbanist/activist, Rujak (IDN),
  • Carolina Caycedo, artist/activist, Descolonizando La Jagua, Rios Vivos Movement and Asoquimbo (COL),
  • Matthew Biederman, artist, Arctic Perspective Initiative / Changing Weathers (SI),
  • Flannery Patton, Alliance of Artists Communities (USA) and
  • Sithabile Mlotshwa, artistic director of Thamgidi Foundation and IFAA Global (NL).

Moderated by Marie Fol, DutchCulture | TransArtists (NL) and Sophia Lapiashvili, GALA- Green Art Lab Alliance (GE).

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Artistic practices rooted in territories and local communities contribute to creating and sustaining citizen actions in favor of ecology and sustainable development.

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What are the components needed to create a good platform for intercultural dialogue and art?

• 2 June: A Collection of Centers (11am-11pm)

11.00 am-1.00 pm (guest lecture): What are the components needed to create a good platform for intercultural dialogue and art? A round table discussion organized by Tijana Miškovi (Denmark/Former Yugoslavia, art producer and curator), Tine Bundgaard (Denmark, artistic director and curator SAIR), Michelle Eistrup (Denmark/Jamaica, visual artist and curator), Georges. H. Rabbath (Lebanon curator) and Sithabile Mlotshwa (Zimbabwe/ Holland, Director of Thamgadi Foundation).

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Orisha Award

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Silent Sky Project

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“Communication – Exchange – Dialogue – Art – Shared knowledge”

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This issue of OnCurating consists of two parts: the first part researches collaborative work with an emphasis on African collectives, and the second part offers an insight into the development of biennials on the African continent.

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On the occasion of the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, the French and international cultural sectors are coming together in the ArtCOP21 to confirm the central role of culture in ecological transition and sustainable development.

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Beeldende kunst
Arnhem & Nijmegen, diverse locaties (Gallery 23, Lux, Cultureel Platform Lingewaard & Thamgidi Foundation, Afrika museum): International Festival of the Arts, internationale kunstenaars tonen hun visie op de thema’s kunst, migratie en identiteit. Tevens op het programma workshops, film, muziek, dans, theater, mode, debatten en symposia. Van 7 t/m 13 december;

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Artists in Dialogue (en)

The opening of the Res Artis 11th General Meeting in Amsterdam was opened by Ronald Plasterk – Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science – on the 9th of October. His speech was en inspiring start of the three day conference Artists in Dialogue, Transforming Communities, which was attended by 120 delegates from artist-in-residence programmes from all over the world, and by representatives of governments, funds and organizations related to the artist-in-residence sector. Many inspirational speakers were heard, people met in smaller workshop groups the attendees from and explored many places in Amsterdam and Arnhem.

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Below is a list of residency programs and special opportunities with upcoming deadlines. You can find information on hundreds of programs as well as tips for researching, applying for, and funding your 

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アーティスト・イン・レジデンスの世界ネットワークRes Artisの総会が2008年10月、オランダ・アムステルダムでありました。その概要の報告です。

今回のRes Artis第11回総会は、2008年10月9日(木)から12日(日)の4日間、「General Meeting & Conference RES ARTIS 2008 Amsterdam」 として、Smart Project Space他を会場として、同スペースに共同事務所を設置しているTrans Artistsとの共催で行われました。 参加者は40カ国、120名以上、日本からは、4団体5名が参加しました。(瀬戸国際セラミック&ガラスアート交流プログラム、東京ワンダーサイト、アート・ビオトープ那須・小豆島、S-AIR・札幌、遊工房アートスペース・東京)小豆島は2009年から新たにスタートで新入会、富田さん参加。 S-AIRは、小田井さんTrans Artists研修中の立場で参加。その他は、瀬戸、宮永さん、TWSは家村さん、遊工房は両村田で参加です。

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Exclusive: Etisalat Prize Candidate Karen Jennings Feels African Writers Should Not Wait for Approval

The prize, which is the “first ever pan-African prize celebrating first time writers of published fiction books”, comes with £15,000 prize money, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen and an Etisalat Fellowship at the University of East Anglia, under the mentorship of Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.

In terms of the financial implications, speaking personally, money isn’t what drives me to write. I am one of those old-fashioned impoverished writers. I made a commitment to myself and said that I wouldn’t get a full-time job until I have published three books. I hope to have achieved this aim by next year. But it does mean that I live a rather hand to mouth existence. I do editing work when I have lulls in my writing, and I have been fortunate to have received some funding from both the National Arts Council and the Arts and Culture Trust for different writing projects over the years. I have also been fortunate in having been awarded writing residencies. I was awarded an M-residency for Sangam House (a three-month residency in India for Nov 2012 – Jan 2013), a four-week residency in Arnhem, Holland by the Africa Centre and the Thamgidi Foundation, and a 10-day residency in Entebbe, Uganda by Femrite. (Femrite is currently open for applications for their 6th annual residency and I encourage woman writers to apply.) Each of these residencies has enabled me to have time to write for various periods of time without financial worry.

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Over de expositie

De Zimbabwaanse kunstenares Sithabile Mlotshwa (1975, Bulawayo) presenteert  haar installatie Footsteps of Change en andere werken.

Opening door Carola Leering, specialist hedendaagse Afrikaanse beeldende kunst en sinds 5 jaar beleidsmedewerker Kunst en Cultuur bij HIVOS. Een nieuwe publicatie met haar werk zal dan aangeboden worden.

Sithabile Mlotshwa woont en werkt sinds vijf jaar in Gelderland. Na een overgang c.q. crisisperiode is ze volopaan de slag. Naast haar artistieke werk heeft ze in Nederland de Thamgidi Foundation opgericht dat een artist in residence programma aanbiedt en banden onderhoudt met de Visual Artist Association in Bulawayo(VAAB) in Bulawayo. De energieke Mlotshwa was lange tijd voorzitter van de Associatie.\
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