Zimbabwe/ 8.1 Support to artists and other creative workers  

8.1.1 Overview of strategies, programmes and direct or indirect forms of support

The main strategy of the government in supporting artists has been through supporting parastatals that then work with artists. The government provides funding for operational costs to the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and the National Art Gallery for instance. These institutions are the ones that in turn work with artists. The National Gallery is a platform for exhibitions and networking for artists. 

In some cases are artists are paid money to exhibit their work locally and internationally. In 2011 the National Art Gallery had a Pavilion at the Venice Biennale where four artists’s works were exposed to international markets. The Zimbabwe Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is pivotal in establishing a platform after the isolation of many years. 

The government remains constrained by its inability to fund arts and culture programmes. Most of the funding channelled towards arts and culture is allocated to Parastatals and it is not for disbursement to artists. These institutions apply to international partners and funders for funding to implement programmes.

Government parastatals also serve as references for artists whenever they apply to participate in international events or when they apply for support to undertake further studies. They also assist artists to quickly acquire travel documents if they have to travel to other countries to participate in festivals or exchange programmes (Passports or travel documents in general are difficult to get in Zimbabwe).

Chapter published: 28-09-2011