The Trade is a virtual artist residency in partnership with Gilbert’s House and supported by the British Council, that explores the creative representation of the exchange of skills, ideas and experiences. It’s an exploration of the lives of women who indulge in the business of trade.
African women over the years have become the pioneers and experts of small-scale legal and illegal cross border trading in order to guarantee financial stability for their families.
From crossing borders to selling clothes, crafts or electrical appliances women in Southern Africa have seen the value and the risk of indulging in the business of trade. The business of trading comes with many advantages such as skills sharing and the creation of networks. For example, most Zimbabwean women who trade in Botswana have now learnt how to speak Tswana in order to communicate better with their potential suppliers. Shop owners in South Africa have their regular customers from Zambia who introduce them to friends and fellow traders. The Trade Residency encompasses all that is good and beautiful about trade and converts it into an opportunity for creatives to meet, learn new skills, share experiences and create an artistic piece that speaks to their interpretation of what trade means.
The project consists of two groups of artists from both Zimbabwe and Botswana, made up of visual artists; Silent Views (Zim) and Keletso (Botswana), musicians; TeAmo (Botswana) and Danai Clay (Zim) and animators; Eden Lang (Zim) and Dadidirai Mushayandebvu (Botswana) who collaborated and created a mini exhibition, made up of a song, animation and an art piece.Vera
The exhibition runs under the idea of the art piece receiving its voice from the song, and given life by the animation. The aim of the project is to create a network of female creatives in Southern Africa, and spark new ideas and areas of collaboration that stem from shared experiences amongst the creatives.
The two groups were mentored by two female trailblazers in the creative industry, Chiedza P.V Chinhara (Diaryofsmurfdinky) a fashion blogger, content creator and graphic designer from Zimbabwe and Mandisa Mabuthoe from Botswana, a poet, vocalist and playwright. She is also the co-founder of Gilbert’s House in Maun Botswana.
Silent Views (visual artist)
Eden Lang (Animator)
Keletso (Visual artist)
Danai Clay (musician)
Mrs Chiedza P.V Chinhara (Diaryofsmurfdinkie) « 35 years old « Born and raised in Zimbabwe « Lives in Harare « Fashion Blogger, Content Creator and Graphic Designer « Masters in Art and Design « ZIWA Award Winner
Mandisa Mabuthoe « Poet « vocalist « Playwright « Co founder of Gilbert’s House