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Two women holding the country's flag during a 2017 protest in Zimbabwe.

#ZimbabweanLivesMatter: Calls for African Union to Respond to Zimbabwean Government’s Violence Against Citizens Strengthen

Using the hashtag #ZimbabweanLivesMatter millions across the continent are pleading the African Union intervenes in human rights violations in Zimbabwe amid coronavirus funding corruption allegations.

The hashtag #ZimbabweanLivesMatter is trending on Twitter, and has reached millions across the continent in a matter of hours. The movement is in support of ongoing protest action against the imprisonment of journalist Hopewell Chin'ono who exposed the alleged pilfering of coronavirus funds by government officials.

Enraged international online community has reacted with calls for South Africa, SADC and African Union to intervene in President Mnagagwa's violent actions against protesters.


Read: Deep Dive: Protest Movements Across the Continent

Zimbabwean activists wrote a public letter to the African Union earlier in the year condemning the 20 July 2020 arrest and subsequent bail denial for Chin'ono. The letter further goes on to condemn the silence of Afrian Union and SADC, pointing the hypocrisy of African Union's quick and public response to the #BlackLivesMatter movement sparked by the death of George Floyd.


"We fear that as long as Zimbabwe continues to violate its citizens' rights with impunity, we and fellow writers and journalists are in danger of having our rights violated in the different AU member states while the mother body stays silent," the letter states as reported by Africa Report.

Additionally, renowned Zimbabwean author and recent Booker Prize nominee, Tsitsi Dangarembga was arrested over the weekend and has been released on bail for her participation in the protests.

ZimEye reports that "President Emmerson Mnangagwa regime sought to thwart the planned anti-corruption march that had been planned for 31 July".

South African celebrities have rallied support for the movement and the rapper AKA leads in voicing his support.



Former leader of the DA, South Africa's official opposition party, Mmusi Maimane has also pressured South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who is the chairperson of the African Union to tell Mnangagwa to respect the rights of the media and opposition. He also reached out to Trevor Noah in a tweet.




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Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery


The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019


1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."


Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957


Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:

Galleries

31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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