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Fadzai Muchemwa

National Gallery of Zimbabwe

Curator for Education and Public Programming

Country: Zimbabwe

ITP Year: 2017


Fadzai is the Deputy Director and Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Communication. Fadzai was a teacher for over twelve years before making a career change to join the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in October 2014 as the assistant to the chief curator.

Fadzai’s current research interests are notions of care in artistic practice, national archival records, social justice, histories of cities, topographies of knowledge production and sites of transition. Her recent curatorial work includes The Unseen (Lusaka National Museum, 2018), Progression (KKNK virtual Gallery, 2021), I did not leave a sign? (Zimbabwe’s National Participation at La Biennale di Venezia, 2022) and An Im/perfect Balance (Ayanda Fine Art in Dusseldorf, 2022). Muchemwa is a Master’s candidate with the Arts of Africa and the Global Souths (Rhodes University) and an ICI collaborator. She is a founding member of the Practice Theory Collective. Muchemwa is working on two ongoing projects: Harare/Insomnia and The Oxymoronic Tea Party.

Fadzai’s day to day work involves providing artistic direction and coordination to the National Gallery of Zimbabwe’s programs. She works with various communities to curate exhibitions and is responsible for the oversight of designated travelling exhibitions and for the conception, execution, quality, and scholarship of a number of internally generated exhibitions and their accompanying catalogues. Another large part of Fadzai’s role is being responsible for; general scholarship and research into contemporary art; for advancing the institution’s mission; for executing and developing support for its programs; meeting the goals of its strategic plan; heading and working closely with Senior Management.

At the British Museum
During her time on the International Training Programme in 2017, Fadzai was based in the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas and her partner placement was spent at Glasgow Museums.

In 2017 participants were asked to develop a proposal for an Asahi Shimbun Display – a temporary exhibition in Room 3 at the British Museum – based around a ‘spotlight’ object. Fadzai worked with fellow Chithra Kallur (Head Archivist, Museum of Art and Photography, Bangalore) on her Room 3 project, entitled Spirits of the Wild: Exploring the World of Animal Worship.

Fadzai’s place on the ITP 2017 was generously supported by the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust.

Legacy Projects

In 2017 Fadzai attended the ITP+ course on Photography and Documentation. In a workshop, spread over a 5-day period, fellows attended seminars, creative workshops, hands-on sessions and practical working groups with colleagues from the British Museum. The aim of the course was to further the professional development and reconnect the alumni from the summer programme.

In 2019, Fadzai took part in the ITP+ Course on Museums and Education held at CSMVS Mumbai which focused on the vital role museums can play in education, learning and social development. The workshop was attended by ITP fellows from India, Malaysia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe as well as UK partners and British Museum colleagues.

In 2021 Fadzai was awarded an ITP Research Grant for her project Uambembe’s Border War and the search for home.