“I Had a Dream”Conductor:
Simon Njami and Andrew Tshabangu
“We want to address useful dreams, dreams that can become a reality. Given the example of all those people who had a dream that changed the world, it’s important for these kids to be inspired and to know that, if you work for it, a useful dream can become true.”
Simon Njami, AtWork Harare conductor
AtWork Kampala Chapter 13 has been implemented by Moleskine Foundation in partnership with the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, which also hosted the workshop.
It was the fourth and last leg of the AtWork Tour 2018 “I had a dream”.
Simon Njami comments on the topic: “It is a school of freedom and social engagement, for, no changes can be achieved by one person alone. If Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi or Martin Luther King, to name a few dreamers, succeeded in their endeavours, it was mainly because they were able to convince outside of their ego. It is time to tell those kids who represent our future that there is no such a thing as fatalism. We were born what we were born, but we always become what we did. In few words, ‘I Had a Dream” is a call for action, here and now.”
The workshop took place in Harare, Zimbabwe on November 19th to 26th 2018 and was conducted by the renowned South African photographer Andrew Tshabangu with the special guest presence of our advisor Simon Njami. 18 young creative talents from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia got together under the guidance of the leaders to debate, critique and exchange about their dreams. The creative outcome of these reflections was spilled out on a notebook by each participant, producing 18 dream projects, which will exhibited as part of the final international exhibition of “I had a dream” Tour in 2019.
“For many of us, this is only the beginning, it is the starting point of deeper reflection, of introspection and of meditation.”
Olivia Botha, AtWork Harare participant
Simon Njami is an independent curator, lecturer, art critic, and writer. He is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of “Revue Noire.” Previously, Njami was the artistic director of the Bamako Photography Biennial 2000-2010, and co-curator of the first African pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. He has curated a number of contemporary art and photography exhibitions, including Africa Remix (2004-2007) and the first African art fair in Johannesburg in 2008. In 2014, The Divine Comedy exhibition, created and curated by him, started a world tour at the MMK (Museum für Moderne Kunst) in Frankfurt, moving on to the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah and the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington, DC. He is the director of the Pan African Master Classes in Photography, a project created in partnership with the Goethe Institute; artistic director of the Donwahi Foundation (Abidjan, Ivory Coast); advisor to the Sindika Dokolo Collection (Luanda, Angola); secretary of the special jury of the World Press Photography Awards; artistic director of the first edition of Off Biennale (Cairo, 2015) and the 2016 and 2018 Dak’Art Biennale (Dakar, Senegal), the first and most important artistic event in Africa.
Andrew Tshabangu is a South-African photographer, born in Soweto in 1966. His photography has been exhibited internationally in various exhibitions. Tshabangu is renowned for his surreal smoky lighting, documents the rituals of black communities in urban Africa. Tshabangu claimed to be fascinated by the fact of photographing interiors of living spaces without the physical presence of the inhabitants. In 2015, he participated in the exhibition The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists (in Scad Museum, USA & Moderne Kunst Frankfurt/Main (MMK) in Frankfurt, Germany.) As a matter of fact, he asserted that his work was already a reflection on Dante’s ideas about hell, heaven and purgatory, and religion overall. He is currently represented by MOMO Gallery and is exhibiting internationally.
“Dreams are the driving force to free you from where you are”
Simon Njami, AtWork Harare conductor
The workshop took place at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, where the participants had a collective discussion about their dreams, their uniqueness as human beings, their personal and professional aspirations. The specificity of the Harare experience was that the day before the workshop we held a Training of Trainers conducted by Simon Njami with the prominent local contemporary artists and educators, who could potentially become future AtWork leaders. The trainees have then attended the workshop to observe the process in action and to actively participate in it. The students therefore had an opportunity to be guided and assisted by such local talents as Berry Bickle, Kudzanai Chiurai, Dana Whabira, as well as by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe’s education specialist Fadzai Muchemwa and Zeitz MOCAA’s curator Tandazani Dhlakama. The exchange between the artists and the participants enriched the experience and allowed for the creation of exciting and diverse creative outputs on the notebooks.
“Discovering identity comes with the realization of the walls you have to overcome for the transformation to begin. These walls
can be intimidating mentally or physically.
Realizing the dream is the first step of breaking free.”
From the curatorial statement of AtWork Harare “I Had a Dream” exhibition by Edzai Nyakunu and Tashinga Majiri.
The Moleskine notebooks created by the participants during the workshop have been exhibited at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. The exhibition was co-curated by the workshop participants under the supervision of Simon Njami. It inaugurated on November 26th and ran until January 7th, 2019. A special catalogue featuring the dreams and the related notebooks of all the participants has been produced by the participants themselves.
Trevor Timothy Chamboko
Kimberly Tatenda Gakanje
Tinashe Ropafadzo Madzivadondo
Tashinga Luckmore Majiri
Claire Rufaro Munjoma
Takudzwa Olga Sinoia
The National Gallery of Zimbabwe
AtWork Chapter 13 Coordinators:
Valerie Sithole, Fiona Chimombe
Video shooting and editing:
Special thank you to: