17 August 2017

Zimbabwe: Exiled Zim Artist Launches Poetry Campaign Against Human Rights Abuses

Self-exiled poet, Mbizo Chirasha, has launched a yearlong campaign dubbed "The Zimbabwe We Want", which will feature poems from Zimbabweans across the globe speaking to the crises facing the country.

Chirasha told NewZimbabwe.com the campaign will see poetry on human rights abuses, bad governance, elections, succession battles and other social vices affecting the country featured on the MiomboPublishing Blogjournal from mid-September 2017 to August 2018.

He said the idea came after the realization that Zimbabwean artists, most of them forced out of the country by circumstances beyond their control, could play a positive role in influencing the political and human rights situation in the country even when they were not currently based in the country.

"This is an idea I formulated which needs young Zimbabweans especially poets to speak from wherever they are through our two Facebook platforms - Miombopublishing and 100 Thousand Poets for Peace Zimbabwe.

"They need to speak on the following areas - human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, succession politics, poverty, bad governance and elections in a manner that sends a true message to the State, state apparatus and others," Chirasha said.

He said the poems should be sent from now until August 2018 when elections are likely to be held, adding the poems should also speak to issues of political violence, which was common during election time in Zimbabwe.

"Many publications will be featured in various journals around the globe- We speak not to individuals, we speak to the system of dictatorship, hegemony and poor national leadership -the masses are subjected to violence every year and every election, children are hungry, untold polarization and hatred in corridors of power while the grass suffers, the arts are also neglected, We need to speak and poets will speak," he said.

Chirasha said many Zimbabwean artists are dotted across the globe, adding he was expecting to have more than 1000 poems by the time the campaign closes.

Poems can be sent on his blog or to miombopublishing@gmail.com

Chirasha is an acclaimed performances poet who has published in more than 60 journals, various anthologies, newspapers, blogs and poetry collections.

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