THE book On Judging Works of Visual Art, authored by Conrad Fielder says if the distinction between the essential substance and the unessential aspects of a work of art is ignored, art is easily misunderstood.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
In relation to Fielder’s statement, local artists are on record that the country’s political status quo has affected their creativity as some of their works are misinterpreted, thereby jeopardising their careers.
In the latest development, top comedy outfit, Bustop TV were victims of the political status quo as they were chased away from the recent Mashonaland Central presidential youth interface rally in Bindura by alleged Zanu PF supporters, amid claims of negative coverage of the recently-held solidarity march for first lady Grace Mugabe.
The Bustop TV crew, which comprises Sharon “Maggie” Chideu and Samantha “Gonyeti” Kureya, were escorted out of the venue and had their press cards confiscated, amid claims that some Zanu PF youths did not take lightly a news video they produced which exposed the ruling party’s shenanigans when it mobilises people for its gatherings.
The video, which went viral on social media networks, was shot during Grace’s solidarity rally at the Zanu PF headquarters where some members of the ruling party displayed ignorance on the reasons for attending the rally.
The gathering was meant to support Grace after she allegedly attacked a 20-year-old model Gabriella Engels at a South African hotel last month.
Zanu PF supporters said they were not happy with AfriForum — an organisation that is fighting for Grace’s prosecution in South Africa for the alleged attack — but then again, they had no clue about the civil-rights organisation.
Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene — one of the main speakers at the march — was also in the dark about AfriForum, thinking that it was a local political party that wanted to wrestle power from Zanu PF.
Bustop TV, which has a reach of over 70 000 people on its social media platforms, employs satire and humour to address contemporary issues affecting society and trending topics.
In an interview with The Standard Style, Bustop TV co-founder and producer, Lucky Aaroni said although they were left shaken, they will not bow to pressure from people that seek to contain their creativity.
“Bustop TV will continue with the news bulletin coverage as we believe it’s informative and educative. As you know, our news bulletins focus on various issues that are happening in our societies. Yes, we might fail to cover some events because their members don’t want us there, but we will definitely tell other important stories,” he said.
“Just like how media operates, not all media houses can report on every story. If you are banned in certain areas, you can still tell your story in your space. Just like BBC, Aljazeera and many other news outlets have limitations due to different reasons, but they still tell stories as they don’t have to shut down or stop.”
Aaroni dismissed as rumours reports that they had their equipment confiscated after the Bindura rally.
“We have all our equipment, only our press cards were taken and we are in the process of replacing them,” he said.
Bustop TV has made an impact on the local comedy circuit. The comedy crew recently introduced live comedy sets that have attracted full houses and left audiences in stitches.
While open speech is guaranteed under the country’s Constitution, the freedom after speaking is not as the staging of political satire has proved to be not an easy task for artists who are not always free to use their creative minds, especially when they question the ruling elite.
Some theatre performances and films are scrutinised for content judged to be prejudicial to the state and a number of plays and films have been banned in the past.
This has seen only the brave artistes staying in the country while those who could not bear censorship laws left.