SENIOR STAFF WRITER
THE National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) yesterday launched an exhibition titled Aftershock: Life After Cyclone Idai which chronicles the impact of the disaster and the road to recovery for affected communities.
The exhibition, co-curated by NGZ acting executive director Raphael Chikukwa and artist Jekesai Njikizana is a congregation of documentary photographs from relief organisations, non-governmental organisations, international aid agencies and corporations.
Speaking during the official launch of the exhibition online yesterday, acting Arts minister Paul Mavima described Cyclone Idai as the darkest era in Zimbabwe’s history of natural disasters.
“Aftershock: Life After Cyclone Idai as an exhibition is a means of educating audiences who had not felt the magnitude of the cyclone, appealing to their empathy and granting them a view into the grand scale of the disaster by outlining the socio-economic and psychosocial cost the disaster had on the communities affected and the nation, as a whole.
“This exhibition is a lens on Cyclone Idai’s effects on three southern Africa countries, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi.
“It narrates the impact of the cyclone, the road to reconstruction and the memorialisation of the victims who perished and those who survived.
“It also nudges us into a sense of reflection that prompts foresightedness in anticipation of unexpected disasters,” Mavima said.
Meanwhile, Chikukwa indicated that the sources of the artwork include the United Nations, Save the Children, the Embassy of the United States in Zimbabwe, USAid, Cafod, World Vision, Oxfam, Welthungerhilfe, GOAL Zimbabwe, Miracle Missions, the Meteorological Services Department, International Rescue Committee, Plan International and Theatre in the Park.
“The exhibition consists of two parts, the first being the photographic show which carries imagery and satellite images from before the disaster, during the disaster and after the storm. This section is further broken down into seven chapters; the Calm before the Storm, the Eye of the Storm, Zimbabwe Responds, Storm is Over, Neighbourhood Watch, The Process of Recovery and Reconstruction, and Who Will Remember.
“The second aspect will be the Online Public Programming, which will be mainly focused on contemporary global topics such as climate change, disaster preparedness and the role of art in the face of global catastrophe,” Chikukwa said.
Cyclone Idai, which hit the country in March 2019, led to the death of over 800 people and the displacement of over 50 000 households.