- Last Updated on 01 August 2012
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Artists for Democracy in Zimbabwe Trust (ADZT), on the 31st of July 2012, held a discussion forum under the theme: 'Role of Arts in Peace building and fostering a culture of Constitutionalism in Zimbabwe'. The discussion which comes at a crucial time, as the country looks to popular engagement with key political processes like the constitutional referendum, was held at Harare's Book CafÃ©. Leading the discussion were renowned arts practitioners Steven Chifunyise, Rutendo Tapiwa and Albert Nyati.
Speaking at the discussion forum, Stephen Chifunyise, highlighted that in a writing career spanning over 30 years his art has touched on everything from African culture, politics, development, and more recently national healing and reconciliation ( Heal the Wounds) and the constitution making process ( Waiting for Constitution). "Heal the Wounds" explores the tribulations and eventual triumph of two families torn apart by political violence but re-united by the need to co-exist as in-laws. Chifunyise said the purpose of the play was not to open old wounds but to chart a way forward after the traumatic experiences many people went through during 2008's political violence. The play, he explained, was able to send a message that "healing" was a prerequisite for successfully moving forward as a nation.
There was clear consensus at the discussion forum that Mr. Chifunyise's plays, especially the two named above had laid the foundation for communities to discuss issues that affected them in their day to day lives and created the right platform for debate when staged in Harare and surrounding cities.
Speaking at the same meeting, Mr. Albert Nyathi highlighted that the promotion of arts in Zimbabwe will embrace the opportunity to foster greater appreciation not only for the music, poetry and theatre but also for the contribution it can make to building more inclusive societies, awareness and peace. He further noted that art has the ability to bring together communities, schools and other groups all over the country to celebrate and learn more about key national processes