Mahoso: The Child in a Time of Insecurity
1998, 09:11 minutes, colour, English
"Culture in this country is determined by those people who determine whether this house should be oblong or square or round, those people who determine whether the stairs should be circling or they should be straight up, those people who determine or not at this moment in the history of Zimbabwe we need 50 new highrise buildings in Harare, even though there are millions of homeless people, even on the streets of Harare itself."
So speaks cultural historian and poet Tafataona Mahoso, against the grain, playfully resisting the frames that would contain or limit his meaning.
A voice that delights in mixing theory and poetry; history and metaphor. A voice that is inherently political in its insistence on the social dynamics of culture and ideas, but delights in the contradictions of its own position.
A voice that emerges tangled in the time and the place in which he lives, thoroughly engaged in the struggles of his people for life, dignity, vision, bread and poetry.
A voice that questions even as it declares.
The issue is culture and representation: the experience is dense, evocative, a blending of text and image, tradition and the new, the known and unknowable, point and counterpoint, in rhythms of silence and speaking.
Rebecca Garrett, a Canadian artist, was Visiting Artist in Residence at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe from 1989 to 1994. This tape continues and extends a dialogue begun in Harare in 1994.
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