The “eQualities of Women” exhibition opens at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare on August 23.
The exhibition reflects on this year’s International Women’s Day theme, which is entitled Press for Progress, focusing on the practical implementation of Gender Parity.
As a subtext, movements such as Times Up and Me Too fall within the exhibition’s lens and notably, the priority lies in the celebration who have made remarkable achievements throughout history. The exhibition thus develops a multifaceted approach in its appearance, with didactics around the physical space arranged in a manner that is interactive.
The exhibition has been designed to be inspirational, commemoratory, informative and educative. Featuring works from the likes of living artists such as Virginia Chihota, Portia Zvavahera, Doris Kamupira and others from yesteryear, this celebration of the contributions of women to society stands to be an indicator for the progressions that have been made throughout history.
A section will be dedicated to descriptive narratives of political, economic, social and cultural leaders such as Mbuya Nehanda, Mama Mafuyana, Victoria Chitepo, the First Lady, Hon. Auxillia Mnangagwa; juxtaposed to Stella Chiweshe, Divine Ndhlukula, Natalie Jabangwe, Tsitsi Dangarembga and Hope Masike.
As mentioned in the former, the Public is welcomed by the exhibition to provide information. The exhibition will have a series of events taking place. The first one will be the Artist Talk, which is set to be held on Friday the 24th of August 2018 at 14:30Hrs.
The focus of the Artist Talk is to bring the audience together with the artists in order to reflect on the exhibition on a content and context based level. This programme is open to all members of public.
The second of the Public Programmes that will take place during the eQualities of Women is the Curatorial Walkabout.
The Curatorial Walkabout is a counterpart programme to the Artist Talk, wherein the Curator or co-curators of the exhibition give the background of the exhibition; a conceptual exposition as to the relevance of the exhibition, its placement and layout as time and space are considered and why the particular artists on exhibition were selected.
The Curatorial Walkabout shall take place on Wednesday the 29th of August and artworks will be viewed and discussed, without any fee incurred on the audience.
The programmes are two sides of the same coin; the artistic side presenting the formative and practical aspects of the show while the curatorial side provides the theoretical side.
A session of the Harare Conversations will take place, featuring Roselyne Marikasi, Lilian Magodi, Taremeredzwa Chirewa, Gina Maxim. It will be moderated by Doris Kamupira. The last of the Public Programmes is the Harare Conversations which is an admixture of the latter and the former; however the conversations tend to not limit discussion, but take discursive approaches towards issues in Society by addressing contemporaneity in connection to the exhibition.
For instance, the eQuality of Women can relate to current matters such as the fielding of fewer female candidates than male in the recently held Harmonised Elections; reflections at the Conversations can address the implications of this indicator as it is a recent occurrence, a real millstone and an antimony to the progression of women!
The Artlife Shop at the Gallery and the Harare International Airport has a wide array of fair trade goods manufactured by women on sale.
Of note, popular products are the WEYA utensils, Mutapo Pottery ware by Marjorie Wallace and a new product on the shelves, plush dolls by Filda Hokonya.
With many of the products on sale being produced by women, the socio- economic reach of the Artlife Shop is impactful on women’s communities such as STEP Trust, Lupane Weaver’s Centre and Zienzele Foundation, whose woven wares are also on sale at the shop.
The International Images Film Festival will open on the 24th of August with a programme that will run until the 31st of August. All of the film screenings will take place at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare.
The August edition of the Holiday Art Camp will also be focused on celebrating Women and all instruction shall be motivated by the eQualities of Women.