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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

CHIPUZA AT THE ART AND CULTURE CORNER

Just art to explore the theme of voiceless foreigners

By Staff Writer IMAN MANI

WHEN the young and up-coming Dar es Salaam-based New Media artist, Rehema Chachage, came back from her studies in South Africa, last year, she was feeling utterly confused. Having spent the last four years in the ‘Rainbow Nation’ reading and learning about the various aspect of the visual arts in its’ entire scope, had left her not knowing where to start from or in which direction to go, now that she had returned home to the ‘Haven of Peace’.

However, when the ‘Star’ caught up with her during the week, she insisted things have since changed for the better. Now she knows where she is going; having discovered from where it was she had to start. Within the few months of her being back in Tanzania, since her graduation last year from Michaelis School of Fine Art of the University of Cape Town, she found new challenges for her to overcome, right here in ‘Bongoland’.

To her it’s more than just having obtained a Bachelors of Arts degree in Fine Art. She is now ready to explore the wide unknown. The on-going Chipuza exhibition, at the Goethe Institut, within the City Centre has played an important role in this transition. It started on the eighth of this month, to coincide with the International Women’s Day and will be coming to a close this coming Wednesday.

The most prominent theme that Chachage tries to explore in her works is that of ‘alienation’. This comes from being a stranger, outsider, the other person, an alien; who are often voiceless people that mingle within a population. Chipuza has been inspired by the social alienation she experienced in the four years she spent as a 'cultural foreigner’ – not being a South African - black female student, in a predominantly white middle class oriented institution.

A visitor to the exhibition would see that it consists of three black and white video instillations and four digital photographs. The actual word ‘Chipuza’ is Swahili for ‘Germinate’ in English and takes on the task of exploring the theme of ‘voice’ and ‘rootedness’. It builds on a larger body of work that Rehema had entitled ‘Haba na Haba’ and produced for her graduate exhibition at Michaelis last December in Cape Town.

This consisted of a series of transistor radios encoded with audio and visual data that had been particularly chosen and intentionally interfered with so as to make it somewhat inaccessible to viewers. Further, ‘Haba na Haba’ was concerned with the artist’s own struggle to find her ‘own’ voice; something she allies to the transistor radio, a mode of communication prominent in her childhood and in which voice is transmitted independent of physical identity.

During the conversation with the ‘Star’ Rehema said that she has been interested in the ‘New Media’, which is also called ‘Mixed Media’, for quite some time. The branch within this called video and photography has been of special interest to her. Therefore, when she was studying for her Arts degree she included this topic in her dissertation. She had seen examples of the art form in books and at a number of exhibitions in South Africa.

With reference to the reaction she got in Cape Town for her ‘Haba na Haba’ exhibition she says, “It was a good response in South Africa and a lot of people told me they understood and were touched by it. I had questions from people who were very interested in the artworks. Some of them wanted to put me in other exhibitions and yet others wanted to buy my work but then changed their mind because they didn’t want to invest in an undergraduate’s works.”

There were some similarities to this observed here at this Chipuza exhibition in Dar es Salaam. Quite a number of people were present and congratulated her for her achievement.

“But not a lot of them wanted to engage in a talk about the works with me,” she said. “The director of Alliance Francaise (Didier Martin) was an exception, for he also told me what he did like about them, instead of just saying congratulations,” she added.

This pleased Rehema very much because according to her, “He obviously must have looked beyond the aesthetics and presentations and did get engaged in the works, which he had looked at for a long enough time.”

Although the exhibition will not be closing until this coming Wednesday, Rehema has already started preparing for her next exhibition of completely new works this May. She will be presenting something in collaboration with an Ethiopian artist at the Alliance Francaise premises in Dar es Salaam. He had seen the current exhibition at the Goethe Institut and being greatly impressed made inquiries until he got hold of her.

A lady visitor to the exhibition told the ‘Star’ she was encouraged to check it out by her friends, who in turn were captivated by its’ exclusive approach. They saw it as being very different from what is usually put on in Dar es Salaam.

“It’s nice to see the different shades of light used as a medium together in an installation. It makes me think,” the visitor said. Dar es Salaam-based New Media artist, Rehema Chachage (sitting on the right) can easily be mistaken as part of her on-going Chipuza exhibition at the Goethe-Institut in the city

Source: Star Magazine (Sunday News, 28 March 2010)

TAFAKURI TUNDUIZI: UWEKEZAJI NA UKOMBOZI

UWEKEZAJI NA UKOMBOZI WA MZALISHAJI MDOGO

Na Bernard Baha

Utwaaji mkubwa wa ardhi katika Afrika, Latini Amerika, Asia ya Kati na Kusini Mashariki umegonga vyombo vya habari kwa namna tofauti. Ardhi ambayo kimsingi haikuwa na thamani yoyote sasa inatwaliwa na wawekezaji wa kimataifa kwa ajili ya uwekezaji katika kilimo ikihusisha utwaaji wa mamilioni ya hekta za ardhi. Kwa wakazi katika nchi ambako ardhi zinatwaliwa yaweza kuwa fursa ya kuboresha maisha lakini pia ukawa mwanzo wa kuingia katika lindi la umasikini na ufukara kwa wakazi kupoteza ardhi ambayo ndio msingi mkubwa wa maisha. Lakini kwa nchi za dunia ya tatu ardhi ndio utambulisho wa watu, maisha yao na uhakika wa chakula.

Wimbi hili halikuiacha Tanzania. Serikali imekuwa ikifanya jitihada mbalimbali kuvutia wawekezaji kutoka nje kuwekeza katika sekta mbalimbali, kwa hiyo kimsingi uwekezaji ni sera ya taifa na kuna sheria zinazosimamia uwekezaji na vivutio aina aina vimewekwa kuandaa mazingira mazuri kwa wenye mitaji hasa kutoka nje kuwekeza. Uwekezaji toka nje hasa ndio unaonekana kama msingi wa maendeleo kwani wawekezaji hawa wanakuja kutoka mbali na mitaji yao na teknolojia ya kisasa, ujuzi na uzoefu ambao kimantiki ukitumika hapa nchi itafaidika kwa kupata teknolojia na wakazi katika maeneo husika ambako uwekezaji unafanyika kujifunza namna uzalishaji unavyofanyika.

Uwekezaji katika kilimo kwa mujibu wa viongozi wetu wa kitaifa pia unalenga katika kuwezesha maendeleo ya nchi lakini pia kwa wakazi kufaidika na fursa mbalimbali. Kuna aina mbalimbali za uwekezaji hasa katika sekta ya kilimo. Kuna wawekezaji ambao malengo yao ni kuwekeza katika mazao ya nishati uoto, kama vile mibono kaburi, miwa n.k, na kuna wale ambao wanalenga mazao ya chakula kama vile mpunga, mahindi na aina mbalimbali za nafaka.

Katika muktadha huu, je, ni kweli kuwa wanavijiji wanaotoa maeneo yao wanafaidika kwa lolote?

Kumekuwa na ripoti za malalamiko toka kwa wanavijiji juu ya kutwaliwa maeneo yao huku wakiachwa solemba, penginepo wakilipwa fidia kiduchu na kuahidiwa ahadi kemkem za maisha bora, ujenzi wa miundombinu kama barabara, zahanati, shule na ajira. Ahadi zote hizi kimsingi hutolewa ili kuwafanya wanavijiji waone umuhimu wa uwekezaji katika ardhi zao ingawa ukweli halisi kuwa wakiridhia utoaji wa ardhi ndio pia wamebariki mchakato wa uhawilishaji na ardhi kimsingi inakuwa katika kundi la ardhi ya jumla huwa hautajwi.

Jeuri ya wawekezaji wengi inakuja hapo hasa baada ya uhawilishaji kwani kimsingi mahusiano yao na wanavijiji waliotoa ardhi yanakuwa yameisha na hawawajibiki kwa lolote kwa serikali ya kijiji na hivyo basi hata wakiamua kujitolea kuchangia maendeleo inakuwa ni kile tukiitacho uwajibikaji wa kijamii kwa makampuni (Corporate Social responsibility) ambao ni hiyari ya kampuni kusaidia jamii iliyoko jirani na eneo la uwekezaji.

Katika nchi ambazo uwekezaji katika kilimo umewafaidisha wanavijiji serikali imekuwa msitari wa mbele katika kuhakikisha kuwa wazalishaji wadogo katika vikundi wanajengewa uwezo wa kuendesha shughuli za kilimo kibiashara, hii ikiwa ni pamoja na kuongeza ubora wa mazao badala ya kuuza mazao ambayo hayajaongezwa thamani. Serikali inawajibika kujenga mazingira kwa makundi haya ya wakulima wadogo na wafugaji kuchangamkia fursa hizi badala ya kuelekeza jitihada kubwa katika uwekezaji kutoka nje.

Inawezekana tungefika mbali zaidi kama wawekezaji kutoka nje wangewekeza katika msingi wa ubia na wazalishaji wadogo, kwa maana kuwa wazalishaji wadogo - wakulima na wafugaji - katika vikundi vyao, msingi wao mkubwa ukiwa ni rasilimali ardhi, wanaweza kuingia katika ubia na wawekezaji toka nje kwa namna ambayo wanakuwa na sauti katika maamuzi na hivyo kuwezesha kile tukiitacho win win situation, yaani 'hali ya mafanikio kwa pande zote zinazohusika'.

Hakuna sababu ya Wachina, Wakorea na Wasaudia kuja kulima ilihali tuna makundi ya wakulima wadogo wadogo katika maeneo mbalimbali; ni kiasi cha kuelekeza jitihada katika kuwawezesha wazalishe kibiashara ili kupata ziada kwa ajili ya uhakika wa chakula lakini pia kuuza nje.

Hivi sasa pia kuna wimbi jipya la uwekezaji katika misitu, makampuni ya kigeni yanatwaa ardhi na kupanda miti kisha yanalipwa fedha katika utaratibu wa kupunguza gesi zinazochafua hewa ambao ni mkakati wa kimataifa dhidi ya uchafuzi wa mazingira na hasa tabaka la ozoni. Ni vijiji vingapi vimehamasishwa kutumia maeneo yao kupanda miti ili waweze kuvuna hizo carbon credits? Na je katika maeneo ambayo hili linafanyika ni namna gani suala la ardhi hasa inayofaa kwa mazao ya chakula linaangaliwa? Hii yaweza kuwa fursa lakini pia hatari kwa uhakika wa chakula.

Inawezekana tupo katika kipindi kigumu sana katika historia ya nchi yetu. Maslahi ya kitaifa na maslahi ya wananchi yapo katika majaribu. Je ,tumejipanga vipi kuhakikisha kuwa fursa hizi haziwi msiba kwetu, tukajikuta tukilaumu kama tunavyoendelea kulalamika jinsi tulivyoingizwa mjini katika sekta ya madini. Lengo letu katika michakato yote hii ni nini haswa? Kumkomboa mzalishaji mdogo ama kumwondoa kutoka kwenye rasilimali ardhi?

Huu ni wakati wa kujipanga na haswa kwa wazalishaji wadogo vijijini. Tusidanganyike na ahadi za mdomo. Ni vyema kuingia makubaliano ambayo yatawafaidisha makundi yote. 'Mkombozi wa Mkulima ni Mkulima Mwenyewe' ni kaulimbiu ya Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA) na mkombozi wa mzalishaji mdogo, kwa mantiki hii, kwa maana ya wakulima, wafugaji, waokota matunda, wachimbaji wadogo wa madini na makundi mengineyo ni mzalishaji mdogo mwenyewe.

Shime tusisubiri mjomba wa kuja kutukomboa, hayupo. Ni jukumu letu kujipanga kwani siku za usoni zipo kwa ajili ya wale waliojipanga vinginevyo tutabakia kuwa watu wa kulalamika, huku tukishuhudia wachache miongoni mwetu wakifaidika na rasilimali ambazo kimsingi ni urithi wetu sote.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

CALL FOR ACTION IN NORTH MARA GOLD MINE





Dear Colleagues and partners,

Greetings from North Mara in Tarime.

I wish to share with you some photos of the current situation in North Mara. Rev. Magafu and I have been assessing and identifying the victims of the last year’s and ongoing waste ponds spillage at North Mara gold mine.

New cases of the victims are coming up with symptoms that are vivid and the situation is alarming. Two cases, though, needs immediate medical attention and action. This involves Mama Otaigo from Weigita village and Paul (8 year old boy) from Nkerege village.

The situation we have found them in is far different from when we met them during the health screening done in January 7th 2010. Their health state is deteriorating from day to day. I am attaching their current photos for your review.

As the governments still remains silent on this matter attempts to get referral letters from government health facilities have proved abortive and therefore we need to act as soon as possible to save the lives of those who are critically ill.

An appeal is made to all of you to act in your different capacities.

Kind regards,

Chacha
--
=====================
Chacha Benedict Wambura
Executive Director
Foundation HELP
Plot No. 1, Block G. Old Custom Rd, LakeSide Area
P.O. Box 854 Musoma Tanzania
Tel/Fax: +255 28 2620 575
Cell: +255 787 945 414, +255 713 235 146
Email: info@foundationhelp.org

Monday, March 15, 2010

WELCOME TO THE SECOND JULIUS NYERERE INTELLECTUAL FESTIVAL WEEK AT UDSM

YOU ARE ALL CORDIALLY INVITED TO:

THE SECOND JULIUS NYERERE INTELLECTUAL FESTIVAL WEEK

APRIL 12-15TH, 2010

NKRUMAH HALL – UNIVERSITY OF DAR ES SALAAM

HIGHLIGHTS:

A WEEK OF REFLECTIONS ON THE ARUSHA DECLARATION, 1967

Hon. Ms. SAMIA NKRUMAH will be the Guest of Honour

She will deliver a lecture on:

REFLECTIONS ON OSAGYEFO
DR. KWAME NKRUMAH’S PAN-AFRICAN VISION


Distinguished Nyerere Lecturer 2010: Prof. SAMIR AMIN will deliver lectures on:

CRISIS OF CAPITALISM AND IMPERIALISM

&

EXITING FROM CAPITALISM IN CRISIS:
INITIATIAVES IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH


Interactive Dialogues on:

The Arusha Declaration and Socialism and Rural Development

Prof. UTSA PATNAIK will speak on:

THE AGRARIAN QUESTION IN THE NEO-LIBERAL ERA

Launching of the book: AFRICA'S LIBERATION: THE LEGACY OF NYERERE and the première show of the documentary: WALTER ANTHONY RODNEY STORIES

Music, songs and poems by famous performers.

Issa G. Shivji
Mwalimu Nyerere University Professor of Pan-African Studies
University of Dar es Salaam
P. O. Box 35091
Dar es Salaam - Tanzania
Tel: 255-(0)22 - 2410 763
Cell: 255 (0) 754 475 372
Res. 255-(0)22-2118 620
email:
issashivji@cats-net.com

Friday, March 5, 2010

Open Invitation to Exhibition: 'Chipuza/Germinate'

Exhibition

Chipuza

By Rehema Chachage

8th – 31st March 2010

Mon – Fri / 10am – 5 pm


INVITATION TO THE OPENING OF CHIPUZA

Monday 8 March, 7 PM at Goethe-Institut

Dear Friends,

Goethe-Institut would like to invite you to the opening of a solo exhibition by Mixed Media artist Rehema Chachage at the Goethe-Institut, 7 pm on Monday the 8th of March 2010.

Chachage will be having her first solo exhibition titled Chipuza as part of the Art at Goethe platform to mark this year’s international women’s day. Chipuza builds on a body of work consisting of three black and white video instillations and four digital photographs.

Chipuza which translates in English as ‘Germinate’, tries to explore the theme of ‘voice’ and ‘rootedness’.

We hope to see you there!

Regards,
Louise Kamin
Cultural Programme Officer
Goethe-Institut Tanzania
Alykhan Road No. 63, Upanga
P.O. Box 9541
Dar es Salaam
Tel./Fax: +255 – 22 - 213 4800
E-mail: louise.kamin@daressalaam.goethe.org

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

NEW BOOK ON MWALIMU JULIUS K. NYERERE


For more Information visit Pambazuka Press

Karibu kwenye ulingo wa kutafakari kuhusu tunapotoka,tulipo,tuendako na namna ambavyo tutafika huko tuendako/Welcome to a platform for reflecting on where we are coming from, where we are, where we are going and how we will get there

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