‘Sibanthontisele – An Exhibition Launch by Owen Maseko’
Date of Exhibition Launch: Wednesday 12 April 2017
Time: 7.00 p.m.
Venue: Goethe Institut Auditorium Maendeleo House, Monorovia Street Nairobi
Admission is free. Drinks and snacks will be available.
Exhibition will run until 5 May 2017
Monday To Friday, 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The works in Sibanthontisele depict the Matebeland and the Midlands
Gukurahundi massacres perpetrated by the 5th Brigade (former division of Zimbabwean army). The killings happened after the expulsion of ZAPU (Zimbabwe African Peoples Union) from the post-independence government led by President Robert Mugabe when the party was blamed for plotting to overthrow the government after arm caches were allegedly discovered on ZAPU-owned properties. Almost 20 years after the guns fell silent, the government has urged Zimbabweans to ‘move on’ from the period Mugabe has described as “a moment of madness”. The majority of those affected still feel that the issue needs to be adequately discussed before it can be consigned to history. In 2010, Maseko exhibited Sibanthontisele, meaning “we drip on them” in isiNdebele, referring to a torture technique the army used during that “moment of madness” where soldiers would drip hot melted plastic on civilians. Less than 24 hours after the exhibition opened at Bulawayo National Arts Gallery, Maseko found himself in police custody, arrested because of his work, according to authorities, ‘undermined the authority’ of President Robert Mugabe. Maseko challenged the charges with assistance of the Zimbabwean Lawyers for Human Rights. In 2013 the court finally ruled that his exhibition could be taken down and not be displayed publically anywhere in the country ever again.
Owen Maseko is considered one of Zimbabwe’s most prominent controversial artists.
This Exhibition is a collaboration between Goethe Institut and the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA).