Gender conversations in Zimbabwe: A precursor of male gaze in visual art practices

Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa

Field Value
Title Gender conversations in Zimbabwe: A precursor of male gaze in visual art practices
Creator Dziwa, Dairai D. Postma, Louise Combrink, Louisemarie
Subject Visual interpretation, male gaze; masculinity; hegemony; heteronormativity; gender construction; decoloniality; activist art.
Description Masculine hegemonic predisposition dominates the gender culture in Zimbabwe. From this perspective, the notion of the male gaze entails that visual interpretation, amongst other things, at encoding and decoding levels is consequently performed with a specific hegemonic ‘lens’. It follows that much of visual art, films and advertisements are created to please and reinforce a male-biased perspective which renders women powerless and subordinate. In the visual arts, this is particularly evident in the manner that the representation of space reflect this bias. Guided by critical phenomenology, this study adopted an interpretive methodology informed by decolonial views to explore and challenge gender identity constructions in visual culture. Engagement with gender literature and visual discourse analysis revealed the demeaning effects of patriarchy and also coloniality on women in much of Zimbabwean art. The discourse of decolonial activist art opposes the male gaze and aims to disrupt the power dynamics which position women to be inferior or less visible in the public art space. This type of activist art is concerned with the possible critical transformative impact of the visual arts in contesting and resisting gender dichotomy, imbalances and inequality.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor None
Date 2020-11-25
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Literary analysis
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/td.v16i1.768
Source The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa; Vol 16, No 1 (2020); 9 pages 2415-2005 1817-4434
Language eng
Coverage Zimbabwe Post-modern Adults, all genders
Rights Copyright (c) 2020 Dairai D. Dziwa, Louise Postma, Louisemarie Combrink