Sunday, 29 January 2023

Textile Details

'2016 Starvation in Zimbabwe', by Lakheli Nyanthi. (Photo: Ukuthula Trust)
'2016 Starvation in Zimbabwe', by Lakheli Nyanthi. (Photo: Ukuthula Trust)


Title of Textile:2016 Starvation in Zimbabwe
Maker: Lakheli Nyanthi
Country of Origin: Zimbabwe
Year Produced: 2016
Size (cm): 56cm (w) x 49cm (l)
Materials: Cotton and wool
Type of Textile: Arpillera

In February 2016 the Zimbabwean Government declared a state of emergency in response to a prolonged drought. Stemming from El Niño - a cyclical weather pattern of warming in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, more severe than usual – this drought resulted in crop failure, food shortages and severe hardship for people already living a precarious existence.

In this arpillera, Lakheli gives us a window into the severity of the situation in her local area. The words “Severe drought” and “Starvation” dominate the piece. She graphically explains the reality and sense of desperation: “In 2016, the rains failed and people in Zimbabwe are facing starvation in some rural areas. The textile shows hungry people and livestock, and a nearly empty dam. ‘Asazi’ means ‘what can we do?’ and 'iThemba' means 'hope'.”

Almost three years later, following El-Nino induced poor rainfall, Cyclone Idai and economic uncertainty, there is little change. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) for Zimbabwe projected that 3.58 million people (38%) would face severe acute food insecurity between October and December 2019. Information bulletin Zimbabwe: Food Insecurity (IFRC)

Owner: Enyandeni Peace Centre collection
Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Ukuthula Trust

Textile exhibited at: Arpillera Voices and Echoes , 6/10/2016 - 14/11/2016
Arpilleras viajeras: Chilenas y de otras latitudes, 16/11/2016 - 12/12/2016
Arpilleras Speak Truth, 25/09/2017 - 28/10/2017
Embracing Human Rights, 5/11/2019 - 18/12/2019
Embracing Human Rights: Conflict Textiles’ Journey, 9/01/2020 - 31/07/2020
Conflict, Famine and Displacement: Then and Now, 13/06/2020 - 27/06/2020

Textile Detail Image(s)