Protest Arts Festival roars into life

HARARE - The Protest Arts International Festival (Paif)’s fourth edition kicks off tomorrow with the aim of promoting awareness on protest arts.

Protest art is defined as in broad terms as creative works by activists and social movements.
Social movements produce works like signs, banners, posters, and other printed materials used to convey a particular cause or message.

Daniel Maposa, a director at Savannah Trust said as much as they are running an arts festival, they are staying clear of any acts that stimulate politics.

“It is the festival’s policy that we cannot have people who sing about political party issues.

“That alone will start divisions. We want people to sing about real issues, not push political party agendas,” said Maposa.

He added that the three-day festival will major in protest theatre, music and poetry performances as well as visual arts displays and film screenings by local and international artists to a diverse Zimbabwean audience. A new addition to this year’s festival is stand-up comedy.

“As Savannah Trust we say as long as society is under siege from socio-political, cultural and economic oppression, the arts have a duty to be the conscience of society,” he said.

The festival is being run by the Savannah Arts Trust. It will run until Saturday, October 27.

“While acknowledging the importance and centrality of protest arts in voicing societal concerns, it is our belief that the arts must also begin to provide leadership in suggesting and shaping a future we all want,” he said.

The festival is being attended by prominent artists including Cont Mhlanga, Raisedon Baya and many others.

It is also attracting international acts that include OT Theatre from Netherlands, Omphile Molusi from South Africa and others.

The newly-appointed Hifa Artistic director will also make an appearance. - Entertainment Writer

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