AtWork Harare Chapter 07: “Can revolution be a whisper?”

Mustafa Alnasheet, AtWork Lab Manama 2013, lettera27 art collection

“Don’t you know you’re talking about a revolution, it sounds like a whisper” – Tracy Chapman

“A revolution is never a blast. It starts without even telling its name. Discussions in bars, private homes… People whisper. Without that whispering, which is a kind of a silence, it would not succeed. Revolution also as a notion of return. Not in a Nietzschean sense, but like in the movement of earth revolving. It is not necessarily something that makes empires fall. It may be something very intimate and personal. But it announces changes. After the whisper, the action. People should concentrate more on the whisper.”

This is the framework that our advisor Simon Njami gave to the next chapter of AtWork’s journey.  It will take place in Harare, Zimbabwe on July 26-30, implemented in partnership with the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and the curatorial team of Raphael Chikukwa. The workshop will be led by the renowned South African photographer Andrew Tshabangu.  Tshabangu’s works have been exhibited at various international venues and festivals, including The Divine Comedy group exhibition curated by Simon Njami. Andrew came into contact with AtWork last December during Addis Foto Fest and we are excited to be collaborating with him for this new Harare chapter.

Tshabangu will conduct the 26 young Zimbabwean artists and art students through the AtWork process, diving into the social and more intimate dimensions of the workshop’s theme: “Can revolution be a whisper?” As a result of the discussion each participant will “whisper” their personal artistic interpretation of the process on a Moleskine notebook, which will be exhibited later in the year at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.

AtWork format will be part of the celebration of the 60th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, which for this occasion is presenting a one-year extended program promoting art and education in Zimbabwe and supporting both cultural heritage and contemporary development.

26 notebooks, 26 stories, 26 personal revolutions. “Finally the tables are starting to turn” sings Tracy Chapman.  And we can’t wait to see this action and the results that the new generation of the Zimbabwean thinkers and creators will share with us through their AtWork experience.