Zimbabwe Annual Exhibition Opened on the 8th of December 2016
Nhaka/ ilifa/ Inheritance: Zimbabwe annual exhibition interrogating present realities.
Nhaka/iLifa/Inheritance is common in many cultures around the world. It is a practice of passing on any property belonging to the deceased person to the relatives such as titles, debts, rights and obligations upon the death of the individual. However all cultures have different ways of dealing with Nhaka/iLifa/Inheritance but some people say culture is dynamic and the present realities is what this exhibition seeks to bring to the viewers. Old traditions and taboos have been broken and the question is what does this mean to the older generation and the new generation? How are people dealing with Nhaka/iLifa/ Inheritance in the 21st century and in the future?
This exhibition brings together diverse views about Nhaka/iLifa/ Inheritance coming from artists from around Zimbabwe. All these opinions are valid and they explore this theme using different mediums and coming from different backgrounds and cultures. The exhibition was inspired by news headlines and people taking each other to the courts to resolve the issues of Nhaka/iLifa/ Inheritance and others killing each other over the issue. It is in this context that we thought the artists can give their own way of seeing since they are the newsletters of the society. Nhaka/iLifa/ Inheritance exhibition facilitates a platform where artists can communicate and educate the public about their culture, present reality and the future realities. It revolves around domesticity, including topics such as identity, cultural belief systems, Ubuntu/Unhu, westernisation, religion, Christianity, common law, sexuality, gender balance, and care giving. Material usage is important because of its innate history and meaning.
The laws of inheritance say certain traits and genes are passed from the parent to the offspring. Scientifically they say genes can be inherited or acquired during a person's lifetime. Hereditary/gene line mutations are passed from parent to child and are present in almost every cell. While some traits are merely habits picked up from the environment (such as an accent or certain mannerisms while walking) others are influenced by genetic information. For example; the late Sam Mtukudzi indeed had inherited the skills, talent from his father. Another example is Gerald Takawira (son of John Takawira – a famous Modernist Zimbabwean Sculptor). These artists use or used their talents to communicate with the public and to educate them about culture. Artists communicate through visual or performing arts.
In this exhibition, the aim is for the artists to explore media that constitutes the work of art by looking at the role played by tradition and religion in moulding today’s family and society. Through this, our collective inheritance is also interrogated.