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Mbare Art center: raising awareness on environmental issues in Zimbabwe through creativity

One of the art pieces from the Mbare arts center in Zimbabwe   -  
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Saskia Violette


At the sight of used Flip-flops, fabrics, toothbrushes and computers, it will not be out of place for one to assume it is a refuse dump. On the contrary, it is an art centre located in the heart of Zimbabwe's capital.

Tashinga is one of the many Zimbabweans who visit this unique space to express their creativity.

He has been visiting the centre daily for the past 9 months, an avenue that helps him to release some stress.

"We don't have many arts hubs in Zimbabwe. This is a place where things we can grow and learn from other people. Other creatives and to just connect ", Tashinga said.

Mbare Art Space has been in existence for over a decade. One of its founders, Moffat Takadiwa, an internationally renowned artist, established this vibrant art space in opposition to the working-class neighbourhood of Mbare, one of the poorest in Harare.

"To make the local people have an access to art. I think that's one of the most important things for me. Secondly, I think to build some kind of regeneration and renewal of a dying neighbourhood like Mbare. Everything here might be so bad, that a project like this will bring new life and hope to a lot of young people, they know that something good can happen in a neighbourhood like this.

Moffat Takadiwa's aim is also to raise awareness of social issues. In particular, ecology. the environment at the centre of his art. Computer keyboards, pens, plastic... all his works are made from waste.

"This waste management is a big problem to a lot of African governments, especially now with the pandemic, and other new problems. It has become quite a bigger and bigger issue", Moffat added.

A space that allows the inhabitants to express their creativity while taking into account environmental issues.

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