July 15, 2024

Birds of Freedom

An exhibition of the works by the noted French/Cameroonian artist Vickie Frémont will take place in Harare, Zimbabwe, from May 1 to May 6 of 2018, under the title “Birds of Freedom”. The exhibition is part of the 18th edition of the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), which will run under the theme “We Count”.

For the past several years, Vickie Frémont has been conducting workshops around the world, using a hands-on approach for the transformation of rejects or trash into useful everyday objects. Her workshops—which she conducts in several countries -, take place in schools, community centers, universities, and even in commercial malls. They include lectures on the destructive effects that trash of every kind has on the environment and on
climate change.

She has conducted her workshops using recycled materials at The Fashion Institute of Technology, The Bank Street School for Children, The Henry Street Settlement in New York City, Community Works, and numerous museums, libraries, and public and private schools.

The show “Birds of Freedom” includes the following elements:

A map of Africa
A map of Cameroon, a country where all African languages plus more than 130 dialects are spoken, both maps are part of the exhibition. Maps with the country’s rivers and borders embroidered with trade beads, many of which have been used in the slave trade.


Large Puppets will be shown, that represent some African countries with their traditional textiles (from Cameroon, Mali, Kenya, Congo).

Birds and their nests

Like the puppets, they are also art works that use recycled materials, in which the artist combines beads, fabrics and recycled materials such as coat hangers, CDs, old rags, plastic containers, and cutting boards. The result is unlike any of the original materials.

The show Birds of Freedom is about the connection between continents, and the waves of migration. Birds don’t have borders but they know how to go back to where they came from.

Many people in many African countries emigrate to find jobs. The 12 birds portrayed symbolize the movement, the migration, and the central nests are the guarantee that a return home is always possible.

Vickie Frémont has an abiding passion for the art, culture, and music of Africa. Although Vickie left Africa many years ago, Africa has not left her.

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Fanny Guex
My Hands My Tools Assistant
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