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Bulawayo artists demand opening of National Art Gallery

by Alois Sibanda
16 Mar 2012 at 07:50hrs | Views
The continued closure of The National Art Gallery in Bulawayo exhibition section is fast pushing local artists to financial ruin as they are losing revenue.

The gallery remains shut two years after police stopped the exhibition showing an artist's impression of the Gukurahundi atrocities of the 1980s.

 The exhibition zone is still covered up with newspapers so that people cannot see it through the glass windows.

Owen Maseko, a local visual artist was arrested in March 2010 when he opened an exhibition showing an artist's impression of the Gukurahundi atrocities of the 1980s.

The art exhibition, first exhibition of its kind in Zimbabwe explored the violent period in the Matabeleland and Midlands province, when tens of thousands of people were murdered by Robert Mugabe's notorious Fifth Brigade.

Maseko's paintings were hung on the gallery walls which had been painted red, to depict blood, and were accompanied by captions such as; "They came and killed our brothers and they made us sing their songs while they killed our brothers."

Police could not remove the graphic pictures and graffiti which had been painted directly onto the walls of the gallery.

An artist says they are now economically struggling and their careers stagnant.

"We cannot produce more work as the only place in the city that could stage exhibitions is still shut. This simple means loss of revenue" said a female artist on Friday.

"Not only are we losing income but opportunities to secure contacts in Europe to exhibit" she added. She said the future looks bleak.

"we appeal for who ever ordered its closure to open the gallary... its our source of income" she pleaded.

Several others raised similar issues.

Source - Byo24News