The International Human Rights Art Festival — Highlights Poet Chirasha and ASODECOM


Mbizo Chirasha

The International Human Rights Art Festival presents “Exiled in Africa,” featuring the poetry and work of exiled Zimbabwean poet, activist and magazine editor Mbizo Chirasha, as well as an introduction to ASODECOM, a grassroots community support organization in Burundi, particularly in the provinces of Ngozi, Bujumbura, Karusi and Kayanza.

We will be speaking with both Mr. Chirasha and representatives of ASODECOM over the Internet during the evening. Exiled in Africa will take place on November 20, at Lucky Jack’s in New York City’s Lower East Side. Tickets and further information HERE.

As Mr. Chirasha said in his note to the International Human Rights Art Festival: “I ran out of my country, my country of my birth on the 4th of February 2017 into Zambia and then South African, then Swaziland, then Lesotho and then to where I am now. I became one other victim among other victims targeted by the overzealous, shameless, dictatorial Mugabe Regime.”

The evening will begin with a short video that Mr. Mbizo sent concerning his current situation, and then a reading about Mr. Mbizo’s history and his poetry, by actor Jeorge Watson. After this introduction to his work, we are planning to speak with Mr. Chirasha via Internet hook-up, from his current location of exile. Apart from many other activities as a committed Zimbabwean poet, such as his activity as Outreach Agent for the Zimbabwe Book Development Council, and as Delegate of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair dispatched to the Goteborg International Book Fair in Sweden (2003), Mbizo Chirasha was a writer in residence in Egypt (2006), he was invited to participate in the UNESCO Photo Novel Writing Project in Tanzania (2009) and took part in the International Conference of African Culture Development in Ghana as a poet in residence (2009).

He was also Producer and Coordinator of the I am the Artist project, an Artist-in-Residence program of the Zimbabwe Germany Society in collaboration with the Goethe Zentrum. Mr. Mbizo is he editor of Tuck Magazine.

We will also be speaking with NDAYISENGA OSCAR of ASODECOM, about ASODECOM’s work toward a Burundi free from violence and poverty, supporting enterpreneurship and guaranteeing the well-being for each family in the fields of agriculture, health, education, human rights, and the environment. ASODECOM (Action Solidaire pour le Dévelopement Communautaire) engages in human rights and development issues through programs, advice and advocacy. The multifaceted approach taken by ASODECOM is meant to meet the needs of the communities in which they work.

Additionally, ASODECOM has special consultative status with UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and has developed a strong reputation for engaging in its work in an objective and apolitical manner. They have been awarded the Pan African Award for Entrepreneurship in Education for 2011, 2012 and 2013 by the international NGO “Teach a Man to Fish” and short-listed for the Pan African Award for Entrepreneurship in Education for 2016 out of over 400 organisations considered.


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