Art has the power to heal past wounds and map the present and future of society.
It is in this light that a group of young artists in Bulawayo are using creative arts to promote conflict resolution and reconciliation, in a country carrying deep scars caused by past acts of violence.
The Peace of Art is an initiative involving 15 young and upcoming artists aged between 13 and 25 years who are from different backgrounds and cultures.
The initiative is under the British Council’s Global Change Makers’ Network.
Gilmore Moyo, the coordinator, said the project aims at using the arts not only for entertainment but for educating and informing the public on the need to guard against trivial issues that cause conflict, tribalism and racism.
“We seek to promote social values, dignity and most importantly to create mutual understanding across cultures,” he said.
The group will be hosting a show on November 27 at the Zimbabwe Academy of Music, in Bulawayo under the theme “Breaking barriers creating a common language”.
The show is the culmination of workshops that the group has been conducting for the past 10 months.
Moyo said the upcoming show is a celebration of the diverse cultures in Zimbabwe and also an appreciation of the differences in people and cultures.
“We will be performing a fusion of theatre, poetry, ballet, music and contemporary dance all at the same time. It is really a unique concept and people should come and support us. We will also be doing some fundraising during the show,” said Moyo.
The message the group wants to send out is the importance of intercultural dialogue among the citizens of the world.
“We have differences as people but they are not important as the things we have in common,” added Moyo.
The group performed at the Africa Youth Forum in Harare where they staged the opening and closing acts.