While my fellow artists went to the IIFF 2012 awards ceremony at the Book Cafe, Samora Machel for free food and drinks, I cleaned up the space, closed shop and went back to Angie’s place to put on a clean shirt. Then it was off to the Dance-sport championships at Hartmann house St Georges college (the private school for Boys in Zimbabwe).
Angie had arranged a table “Rock’n Roll”. On arrival the car park was full of large cars and SUVs, this was the other side of town. The scene was solid, a brand new assembly hall with full working podium, curtains and side wings, clean toilets and sannex paper towels for the hands. Tables neatly arranged at the side of the dancing floor, finger foods, 2 bottles of wine, water, beautiful Christmas wreaths (that could be bought for $25 to support the event), red bows tied around each chair and a full coloured program catalogue for the evening.
The dancing competitiveness was fierce, each couple doing their best to out move and out perform one another. If I had placed my money on a couple it would have been 207 M. Jellicoe and S. Roche who moved across the floor effortlessly like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They did not win, but I wish them well and hope they have grand dreams to pursue greater dances yet.
After the dance I did go to the book cafe. A handful of people were left. The poets, writers, art critics/curators. It did not take me long to figure out why the art scene was not moving in Harare. The people that had the power through information and connections were like war lords, claiming artists like possessions. Art was reduced to a speculation in dollars. ‘Jack leaves with thoughts of revenge’
This was the underbelly of the art world, it looked bleak and dependent on personal gain.