Zimbabwe: Visual Artist Tackles Gender Imbalances

7 November 2019

Bulawayo-based visual artist George Masarira has been using his paintings to stand up for women and convey messages of gender equality.

He said women should be reminded of their value so that they do not accept doing things that undermine them.

"Right now, I am working on an artwork that reflects on the idea of lobola. My idea is on how people nowadays have monetised the concept of paying lobola," he said.

"Some men are now abusing women just because they paid lobola, the whole idea of appreciating women and bringing families together through lobola has changed."

He said his artworks raise issues surrounding women in African societies.

Describing himself as a contemporary artist, Masarira said it was surprising that Africa was not in control of its resources.

"I touch on so many things when I do my art. It might be things that happen in Zimbabwe or in Africa. I talk about issues that are relevant because we face them every day. I want to do art that leaves a print in history or that will be part of history someday," said Masarira.

"I find myself enclosed in a contemporary spectrum which influences and inspires most of my work."

"I am mainly inspired by events unfolding around me, encompassing politics, economy, religion, environment and anything that involves cosmopolitan philosophy."

Masarira is a provoking artist as most of his work describes what he feels to be the truth, he can be summarized as a radical cosmopolitan artist.

"I refrain from art which does not speak to the heart and mind because every piece that I make is a result of a blend of lens captures, emotional raptures, philosophical triggers and a well thought out tapestry of hand movement and paint brush stroke coordination," Masarira added.

"It will be a philosophical and monumental robbery to create memories and thoughts which do not change a life."

Masarira started doing visual art eight years ago and has not looked back ever since.

"I have been doing art for the past eight years as a professional young artist in Zimbabwe. At first things were really tough but through experimenting and trying to find myself, I managed to sell my work through the internet and managed to exhibit locally and internationally. I did one of my solo exhibitions in Germany in 2015," he said.

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