At The Gallery
Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust held a training workshop for artistes on South Planet Data Portal last Thursday at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
South Planet Data Portal is a free data website, comprising files that present principal artistes, cultural operators, organisations, events and cultural venues in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. It is also a platform like Wikipedia, where people from different walks of life can upload their profiles in order to create more opportunities and networks.
The workshop was aimed at training artistes on the use of the portal, enabling them to upload their profiles and therefore market themselves and their works to a wider society. The event was facilitated by the Founder of the 263chat, Nigel Mugamo (sirnige) and was attended by the chairperson of African Colours Artists’ Association, Stephen Garan’anga, journalists from different media houses, artistes from around the country and the National Gallery staff.
South Planet is an international network with over 30 000 artistes and professionals, 8 000 institutions, 150 000 arts products and 25 000 cultural events. The main objective is for the portal to be used by artistes, arts practitioners and cultural operators to build networks, market their creative brands and products on a global platform and access a professional news thread.
On this planet, everyone can post his or her own information. Several opportunities for building networks with other arts professionals are created. It is a free global online platform to market creative brands and products, free access to a professional news thread (calls for projects, training, job adverts etc.) and it is a simple form of advertising events like exhibitions.
“Culture Fund believes that use of ICT innovation will propel Zimbabwean Art on to the global stage,” stressed projects officer of Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, Ms Chido Mushaya.
“South Planet portal is one such innovation that links all of the Southern nations; in South America, Africa and the Caribbean on an international database which is accessed by hundreds of thousands of people. Zimbabwean artistes’ engagement with South Planet will enhance their networks and link them to new markets.”
In addition, founder of the 263chat, Nigel Mugamo urged artistes to join this network saying, “Find a way of using these mediums to convey your messages as artistes.
If you are a visual artist, you have to research on social media platforms which market you better and make use of them to share your journey and your own story.”
However, artistes argued that although this planet can help them in a number of ways, they cannot give much information about themselves online.
“I am currently removing pictures of my work online because I have seen that people are now making it a habit of just copying my work online and writing articles about it without my consent,” noted Stephen Garan’anga.
Admire Kamudzengere, a visual artiste and a teacher at the National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design sided with Garan’anga.
He said, “The internet has made it easier for people to copy other people’s work without the knowledge or consent of the owner. The holder of the copyright has the ownership of a piece of intellectual property, and no one else does.
“For instance, if one writes a book, a story, a training program, take a photograph and someone else wants to use it, they have to ask for permission to do so.
“It gives you the right to charge for it, or to deny the use of it. If one uses someone else’s copyrighted material without their permission, that is stealing and one should face criminal charges, or a lawsuit requiring them to pay for what they might have taken.”
To join the planet, please visit zimbabwe.spla.pro