New Acquisitions of the Permanent Collection: A Reflection on Visionary Africa Urban Africa.

This exhibition is inspired by the Visionary Africa Urban Africa exhibition which was on tour a few years ago.  The exhibition toured these African cities; Addis Ababa, Tripoli, Cairo, Harare, Bujumbura, Kampala, and Nairobi. It then finished its tour in Brussels.

This exhibition saw some renowned African artists who work mainly in photography showcasing their work in Africa. Curated by Simon Njami, this exhibition’s tour on the continent showed that exhibitions of this nature can tour Africa and put to rest the words by those that think Africa has no capacity to hold such shows.

This collection was recently acquired for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe’s Permanent Collection. This is to show that the Art at Work exhibition has another life on the continent.

Photography is a very old medium and yet new in Africa because it is largely not seen as an art form. Zimbabwe now has an opportunity to see some of the prominent photographic artists who include, Samuel Faso, Maliki Sidibe, Jodi Bieber, and Calvin Dondo. Art at Work exhibition gave an opportunity for the African audience to see an exhibition by their artists which has not normally been the case in the past. The National Gallery of Zimbabwe is pleased to have these works here that show the African story by African artists.


The exhibition brings diverse perspectives and voices from different artists coming from Africa. Africa has a multitude of stories that are captured in this exhibition, from the political to social and historical views of how the continent has been shaped in the past fifty years. The exhibition arrived here in Zimbabwe in 2012 and when one looks at it today, the African story that we continue to shape is in evidence. Artists play an important role in shaping this African story that has fallen victim to those that want to remain our teachers; those that want to continue telling our story.  In this exhibition one can see the African eye in the work and behind that the collective vision of the continent.

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