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HIFA Launches in Harare this Week

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The 2012 Harare International Festival (HIFA) of the Arts launched yesterday evening, with an elaborate opening ceremony at the festival's somewhat exclusive grounds. The Festival boasts an extensive program of music, theatre and dance, and a small visual arts program, and is a highlight on the Zimbabwean arts community's calendar.


The 2012 Harare International Festival (HIFA) of the Arts launched yesterday evening, with an elaborate opening ceremony at the festival's somewhat exclusive grounds. The Festival boasts an extensive program
of music, theatre and dance, and a small visual arts program, and is a highlight on the Zimbabwean arts community's calendar.HIFA was founded in 1999 by Zimbabwean expat Manuel Bagorro, and has survived the country's political and financial turmoil thanks to substantial foreign backing and support from the Zimbabwean government. Despite these connections, which have been subject to criticism from the international artists and organisations, HIFA is a lifeline to an arts scene that would otherwise be almost entirely isolated from the rest of the world.



This year's program includes musical performances by Ismael Lo, Tumi and the Volume, Oliver Mtukudzi, amongst many others. The visual arts program takes place at the Zimbabwean National Gallery in Harare and features an exhibition of masterpieces from the gallery's collection of traditional African sculpture,
titled Objects of Mediation, and a group exhibition of contemporary art curated by Director Raphael Chikukwa. The latter bears the ungainly title UNEVENNESS: Interrogating the Dominating and Dominated Relations Based On Different Cultures, Religions and Histories and includes works by Tafadzwa Gweta (Zimbabwe) Israel Israel (Zimbabwe), Samba Fall (Senegal/Norway). Mohau Modisakeng (South Africa),
Themba Shibase (South Africa) and Michelle Mathison (Zimbabwe/ South Africa).