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Painting a Massacre

Owen Maseko
Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwean visual artist Owen Maseko describes his 2010 exhibition of works of art depicting the Gukurahundi massacre, the murder of an estimated 20,000 Ndebele civilians carried out by longtime dictator Robert Mugabe’s forces during the 1980s. Maseko was arrested under the charge that his artwork “insulted” Mugabe and undermined his authority. Maseko sharesthe content of his exhibition with the audience, discussing the themes that led to his imprisonment. He believes that art must break boundaries, respond to issues, create new possibilities, and ultimately, demand human rights.

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