SEA launches our on-line map of Stone Town galleries, boutiques, arts and crafts sellers
Arts in Zanzibar
Zanzibar has a rich chest of artistic expression and practice. From its architecture to fine art to the many authentic and beautiful craftworks. Many of the artists, as in other places, gravitate to the capital city, and the same holds here.
But where do you, as a visitor, or somebody living here, find out about where to see artworks, visit artists or purchase craftworks? Nowadays the average visitor will roam the internet first, but try that for Zanzibar and you will miss out on a vast number of fascinating people, projects and places.
By the end of 20th century the Zanzibar Government had taken control of the fabric market on the island. As a result, there were only three colours available. But for the women of the Suleiman family that wasn’t enough. They tried to find a way to make the fabrics more unique. For generations the women of the family had made the delicate ornaments for Kofia and Kanzu (traditional Islamic hat and dress for men). The appliqué technique proved suitable to transfer those fine patterns onto bigger pieces of fabric. Saada Abdullah Suleiman and her mother taught themselves to create and realize various designs.
One week ago: We were sitting in the Cultural Arts Centre when Tourguide Farid followed by a group of tourists entered the gallery. Today he didn’t only have interesting facts about the Arts Centre, but also told us about his self-organised Bread, or Mikate (Kiswahili for Bread) Party which should take place at the 8th of October. We were cordially invited. After handing us a flyer he continued his tour and dissappeard among the alleys of Stone Town.