VICE-President Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured) has urged stakeholders in the arts and culture industry attending the International Conference on African Cultures at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare, to interrogate artistic constructs bent on reinforcing western ideologies.
BY TINASHE MUCHURI
In a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of State in his office, Clifford Sibanda, the Vice-President called on the conference to discuss the negative impact of colonial ideas on African art.
“This conference must, therefore, discuss those intrusive cultural and artistic constructs to enable us to decolonise our minds, thus priming us to appreciate who we are as original African people,” he said.
“We discuss African culture as free Africans in a liberated and sovereign nation.”
Mnangagwa said the country was proud of the growing new artistic and positive cultural expression cherished by the rest of the world.
“Creating a dialogue and engagement on art and culture will broaden our creative and cultural industries,” he said.
The Vice-President warned Africa to be on the watch for neo-liberal agendas pushed through globalisation and “masking imperialism by absorbing cultures and achieving the initial agenda of the impostor to destroy the African identity.”
Mnangagwa expressed gratitude to Pretoria Cement Company — a leading manufacturer of cement in Southern Africa — for bankrolling the official opening of the indaba.
Meanwhile, the company launched awards in art, fashion and architecture, which will be run in Zimbabwe in partnership with National Gallery.