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Art fair to ignite Zimbabwe’s contemporary art scene

The Bulawayo Art Fair (BAF) is set to invigorate Zimbabwe's contemporary art landscape with its upcoming event scheduled for September.

The Bulawayo Art Fair (BAF) is set to invigorate Zimbabwe's contemporary art landscape with its upcoming event scheduled for September.

BAF, organised by the start-up, Centre for Contemporary Art Bulawayo (CCAB), aims to bring together independent galleries, collectives, and professional studios from across Zimbabwe to showcase the diverse talents of mid-career and emerging artists.

CCAB founder Cliford Zulu confirmed the developments to Standard Style on Thursday.

“In the wake of economic challenges compounded by the post-Covid19 pandemic, the visual arts scene in Bulawayo faced hurdles since the turn of the century,” he said.

“With only one national gallery in the city, the need for platforms like BAF to rejuvenate artistic expression and support local talent is more pressing than ever.

“BAF's outreach programmes extend beyond Bulawayo, reaching major art hubs such as Harare, Mutare, Gweru, and Victoria Falls.

“Through these initiatives, BAF seeks to map the contemporary art landscape of Zimbabwe, fostering dialogue, and facilitating the exchange of ideas among artists nationwide.”

Zulu said the symposium, a highlight of the fair, will provide a platform for discussions on crucial topics ranging from arts administration and marketing to design development and modern culture.

“With the generous support of the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe, backed by funding from the European Union Delegation in Zimbabwe, BAF aims to formalise CCAB's role in advancing visual art practices in Bulawayo and beyond,” he said.

“I have been a driving force in shaping Bulawayo's art scene since 2001.

“With a commitment to African-inspired curatorial practices, I envision CCAB as a catalyst for change, intensifying efforts to support visual artists’ visibility in local and international markets and other platforms.

“As Zimbabwe embraces local innovation platforms, BAF stands as a beacon of resilience, defining contemporary art practices that resonate with both local audiences and the international art community.”

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