Owen Maseko

Zimbabwean visual artist

Owen Maseko is a Zimbabwean visual artist known for his hard-hitting paintings and his open defiance of the regime of the late dictator Robert Mugabe. In 2010, Owen Maseko opened an exhibition containing works of art that depicted the Gukurahundi genocide, a brutal 1982 campaign by the Zimbabwean army’s elite Fifth Brigade against political dissidents in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland province, in which an estimated 20,000 ethnic Ndebele civilians were killed. Maseko was arrested less than 24 hours after the exhibition opened and was charged with “undermining the authority” of Mugabe as well as “causing offense to persons of a particular race or religion.” After being held in prison for four days, Maseko was granted bail.

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