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Protest arts festival begins today

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THE fourth edition of the Protest Arts International Festival kicks off in the capital today.

Report by Simbarashe Manhango

The three-day fete is set to feature an exciting programme bringing together local, regional and international artistes.

Since its inception in 2009, the festival has been facilitating the development of critical arts spectatorship. Running under the theme “Imagining and Re-inventing the Future”, the festival invites researchers and practitioners to put into perspective the role of the arts and culture in development.

Savannah Arts hosts the festival that will kick off with the staging of a variety of local and regional theatre productions.

The plays include a South African one-man production titled Itoseng written and performed by talented actor Ompile Molusi.

Other productions are: The New Heaven by Patience Tavengwa, The Burrow directed by Styx Mhlanga and a University of Zimbabwe theatre department production titled Maidei the Woman of Manhood.

The programme will also includes debates and panel discussions involving some big names in music, theatre and film.

A concert featuring an array of local artists will wrap up the festival on Saturday at Harare Gardens.

The performing artistes include dancehall artistes Winky D, Charles Chipanga, Blessing Shumba, King Shaddy, Berina Arts Traditional Dance and Simuka comedy.

Festival director Daniel Maphosa said:“The objective of the festival is to strengthen the artistes and researchers’ capacity in tackling human rights and democracy issues through sharing and devising strategies in protest arts and culture.

“Above all, the festival is about reflecting and celebrating the contribution of protest arts to people-driven processes in international societies.”

The opening conference will be held at Crown Plaza, Harare, tonight, while performances and workshops are set for Harare Gardens and the University of Zimbabwe.

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