THE National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) last week officially opened its first virtual exhibition dubbed Aftershock: Re-imagining Life After Cyclone Idai where it revisits the devastating disaster that tore part of southern Africa last year.
The exhibition subsequently opened a discussion on how to deal with climate change.
NGZ archived the online version of the exhibition on its website for interested people to view and has physical displays in the gallery which only awaits the time when the lockdown is further eased.
The exhibition, co-curated by NGZ acting executive director Raphael Chikukwa and Jekesai Njikizana, is made up of documentary photographs from relief organisations, non-governmental organisations, international aid agencies and corporates.
“To mark a year since Cyclone Idai, NGZ and its partners and sponsors bring you this exhibition as a reflective project to educate and provoke dialogue on issues pertaining to climate change and global warming, disaster preparedness, displacements and many other issues brought about by natural disasters,” said Chikukwa on Friday.
He said the exhibition also sought to educate people on the magnitude of the cyclone’s impact by offering insights into the socio-cultural work of processing the human experience of disaster and understanding of trauma.
The exhibition was initially scheduled for March but had to be postponed at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak.
UN resident co-ordinator Maria Ribeiro who congratulated NGZ for managing to run its exhibition virtually said there was need to come up with sustainable solutions to deal with climate change.
“I don’t think a year ago after Cyclone Idai anybody could imagine we would be in the middle of the most critical public health global catastrophe. We now have to begin to think about reimaging life after COVID-19. Let’s take the lessons from life after Idai,” she said.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavhima commended all those who worked towards assisting the affected communities, adding that the areas still needed support.
“This commemorative exhibition would not have been possible without the benevolent support of the international donor community and local humanitarian agencies and the generality of Zimbabweans who worked tirelessly towards relief efforts in the affected areas,” he said.
Hundreds of people were killed and hundreds of thousands more affected after the tropical storm smashed into central Mozambique, hitting eastern Zimbabwe and Malawi.