Chiurai, Kudzanai


Zimbabwean, b. 1981; lives and works in Harare, Zimbabwe


Born in 1981, one year after Zimbabwe’s emergence from white-ruled Rhodesia, Kudzanai Chiurai’s artistic practice focuses on some of the most pressing issues arising in a postcolonial society. Questions of displacement, identity-building, and structures of social and political inequality are incorporated in his artworks.

Chiurai uses various media, from video to painting to photography, putting the human being at the center. By building elaborate sceneries and narratives around the characters he creates, while also referring to archival materials, such as photographs, screenplays, and design, Chiurai blurs the lines between fact and fiction, aiming to reimagine the experience of a postcolonial metropolis. His series The Black President (2009) originated during a time of major political events: elections in both Zimbabwe and South Africa, and Barack Obama becoming the first black President of the United States. The series consists of portraits of an imaginary cabinet of ministers as well as the head of state, the Black President. Chiurai uses carefully constructed iconography to simultaneously represent and question masculinity and power.

Artworks by Chiurai, Kudzanai

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