Use Art To Influence African Culture: Chazunguza

by | Mar 5, 2024 | Entertainment, Local News | 0 comments

Use Art To Influence African Culture: Chazunguza

Entertainment Reporter

Local visual artist Chikonzero Chazunguza is set to capture and evoke the minds of art lovers in Paris, France, as he showcases “Seuswa” at the My Zimbabwe Exhibition at Galerie Art-Z until the end of March.

Art is usually subjective and may be interpreted in various ways. Visual arts is an art form that expresses message, emotion and meaning through visual means.

A picture tells a thousand words and in this painting, Chazunguza used the image of a displaced and destabilised family during the colonial era to create a sense of resilience among many
Chazunguza described “Seuswa” as akin to grass, highlighting how it depicts Africans before, during and after colonialism.

“Nature has its way, no matter how many times grass is cut off, burnt to the roots, it will always sprout back,” he said. “In this piece, I used archival images, depicting a time when photography came into Africa.

“I believe by then there was already some type of oppression and displacement as it came with colonialism. With such a theme, grass was the text for discourse.

In as much as you can colonise and in as much as you can try to eliminate people you cannot eradicate them.”
Chazunguza, who is the co-founder of Dzimbanhete Arts Interactions, emphasised the need for the majority to understand how art can be used to influence culture.

“Art has to be decolonised, that is the basis of our foundation at Dzimbanhete, by so doing we are empowering people to have some form of identity as Africans,” he said.

“We are currently in the process of constructing all Africa Village, where we will put together 54 villages representing the African cultural artwork.”
Chazunguza bemoaned lack of recognition for visual artists compared to others.

“Visual artists are like the poor cousins,” he said.

“Unfortunately, it is like that, we belong to the same ministry that has football and entertainment. We cannot correct that now as we sit at the bottom of the pool.

“The gap is not something that can be corrected now, not in this generation. Artists will always be people whose impact is very subtle. Visuals are simply subliminal.”