Arts and Culture Consultation with the Zimbabwean Diaspora

An all day Arts and Culture Consultation with the Zimbabwean Diaspora takes place on Friday 28th June in London from 10.30 to 17.00. The venue is the Theatre in Oxford House, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG.

Organised by the Zimbabwe Association and the Culture Cluster of the Commonwealth Organisations Committee on Zimbabwe (COCZ), the event is a follow up to visits to Zimbabwe made by both groups during 2012.

‘Re-engaging with Zimbabwe through Arts and Culture’ is the title of the report made by the COCZ Culture Cluster. It provides an audit of the arts and culture scene and needs in Zimbabwe following their May 2012 visit, made possible with the support of the Commonwealth Foundation.

The ‘Sharing our Stories’ report by the Zimbabwe Association is an account of the findings of the Zimbabwe Association following an initial exploratory return visit to Zimbabwe in June 2012. The visit underlined the need to help develop routes for a safe and sustainable return to Zimbabwe when the time is right. It also highlighted the importance of culture in re-connecting the diaspora with the homeland, exploring the national narrative and helping to create sustainable livelihoods from arts, crafts and cultural production.

The event aims to hear the views of the Zimbabwean diaspora on how to forge closer partnerships and links with arts and culture practitioners in Zimbabwe. We want to explore how Zimbabweans and friends of Zimbabwe both in the UK and in Zimbabwe can help each other to link up, use culture to explore our national identity and look at how best to support Zimbabwean artists and cultural performers make a sustainable livelihood from practicing their craft.

The aim is to make this gathering a very practical consultation. As such, invitations are being made to arts and culture practitioners, managers and promoters from across the whole spectrum of Zimbabwean arts, culture and crafts. We also hope to have attendance from the Zimbabwean and wider African/Commonwealth diplomatic community.

The event will begin with registration, tea and coffee, it will include an opening address from the Director of the Commonwealth Foundation.  We will hear feedback from the two visits to Zimbabwe, enjoy reflections from acclaimed Zimbabwean author/poet Chenjerai Hove and, after a traditional Zimbabwean lunch, break into working groups to work on forging practical solutions.

This is a free event but will largely be by invitation only. However, if you have a particular interest in joining us and feel you would like to be involved, we would be happy to make space for you upon request.

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