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CALL for Fashion Designers to be part of I Wear My Culture

For the Culture

CALL for Fashion Designers to be part of I Wear My Culture

The hope is to create as much awareness on our beautiful, rich cultures using fashion as a tool.

Young Zimbabwean fashion designers are being called to be a part of I Wear My Culture, a research project that is aimed at exploring different tribal groups in Zimbabwe using fashion. The project which is headed by Gilmore Tee through Paper Bag Africa in partnership with the British Council – Southern Africa Arts, will see 10 – 16 young designers being selected and assigned 1 of the 16 Zimbabwean tribal groups, with which they will research on the tribes practices, norms, fashion, arts, craft and use that information to create 2 contemporary looks inspired by what they would have individually gathered through primary research. The project is running from April – November 2022.

I Wear My Culture aims to shine a light on not only the main groups, thus the Ndebele & the Shona, but other tribal groups that make up our official languages. We have 16 groups in Zimbabwe, the Ndau, Tonga, Xhosa, Kalanga and many more, we ought to find a way of creating awareness about them, not only to the rest of the world, but to ourselves. A lot of us do not even know that Zimbabwe has 16 official languages that come from our rich tribal groups, so this project will inform and educate through fashion. It’s also an opportunity for the designers themselves to be cross educated about a tribe that is not theirs, that’s quite exciting” – Gilmore Tee

Throughout the project, the selected young designers will work hand in hand with facilitators from their select tribal group and 2 historians that will help them as they go about doing their own research and making the garments, one for a male and the other for a female, thus using their own interpretation from the information obtained. The whole process when they either talk to the historian, tribal facilitator or site visit, will be documented through audio-visual, thus allowing the information to be captured for future use.

We will document their different stages throughout the project and put that together as a fashion film which can be screened at different platforms or even be used for archiving by galleries and museums. The other exciting component of the project is that the garments made by the young designers will be then showcased at bigger platforms this year and also exhibited at local galleries. The hope is to create as much awareness on our beautiful, rich cultures using fashion as a tool.

Interested designers can visit the Paper Bag Africa social media platforms to see the link for applying. Deadline for application is Saturday the 23rd of April 2022.

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