Zimbabwe’s Bulawayo Biennial postponed due to political and economic unrest

Sithabile Mlotshwa, founder of Bulawayo Biennial

Following nationwide protests and political and economic unrest, Bulawayo Biennial has been postponed, The Art Newspaper reports. The biennial, which was due to open in October this year and which was launched by artist and curator Sithabile Mlotshwa, has been pushed back to October 2020. Organisers involved with the event have confirmed that the current turmoil facing the country, after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s announcement of a huge increase in petrol prices earlier this month provoked protests and a violent crackdown by authorities, has been a major factor in the decision to postpone. Social media and Internet servers have also been shut down. Mlotshwa has said: ‘The new president and the changes that happened—meaning the removal of Mugabe—create an opportunity to rebuild the country and present the best Zimbabwe has to offer through culture. I strive for this regardless of the current state of things… There is a great need for more platforms that can represent the arts within the continent. This biennial is not only for artists from Africa and its diasporas but is meant to bring [artists and visitors from around] the world.’

22 January 2019