The National Gallery of Zimbabwe embraced the National Culture Week celebrations which ran from May 21 to May 27, through an exhibition of objects that are of cultural significance which were drawn from its permanent collection.
In a statement released by the Gallery’s spokeperson, Zvikomborero Mandangu, it is stated that artists and crafters are part of the community that is celebrated in this year’s Culture Week theme, ‘Towards Increased Community Participation’ as the gallery percieves the ever increasing enthusiasm brought each time by the many visual artists in the country.
“The exhibition in this space explores the Culture Week theme through objects that are of important cultural resemblence,” said Mandangu.
He also stated that the objects were collected from all corners of the country and the have been brought in to the museum environment where they have been combined and directed to tell a story of the vibrant and rich cultural landscape the Zimbabwe is and has.
“The very act of collecting items is a communal effort and represents the symbolic celebrations of our cultural heritage,” he said.
Among objects to be exhibited are ceremonial drums, basketry, pottery, stools and bark fibre blankets which are literally known as ‘gudza’ in the rich shona language.
“The content might mean very different things to different people and yet bring a community history around a landmark in creating dialogue representing multiple perspectives,” he said.
Zvikomborero Mandangu also said they intend to inform, consult, involve, collaborate and empower the community on issues of common interest that meet and make them one through this initiative.
The National Culture Week is a week long celebration which involves various cultural celebrations. It has been proclaimed by the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity by UNESCO in 2001 that 21 May of each year is the World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
The annual event has been organized by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in which it has been hailed for taking the celebrations to different provinces of the country each year.
This year the National Gallery of Zimbabwe takes this as an opportunity to celebrate as a community the craftsmanship and skill set that makes everyone unique.