23 February, 2011

10 Days after Launch

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Doc initiated       : 23 Feb 2011
Doc last updated:

What is the score? 10 days after broadcasting the VIRTUAL MUSEUM OF ZAMBIAN ART project & the launching of this blog to promote the virtual museum idea, facilitate public discussion and to demonstrate some of the features a fully fledged zamart website might have.
The good news is that there has been ZamArt-Blog development by adding pages and posts. There also has been public interest with about 10 page views daily since the blog became accessible.
The not-so-good news is that the number of received IT responses (by comment or e-mail) is low. There may also be not-received responses as I know of at least 1 comment that went astray. In any case, we have some work to do to justify the notion that this blog and its projected website successor are becoming an IT platform for matters concerning Zambian art.

What Next? We need a bit of an awareness campaign resulting in some sort of artists' awakening.
How? Well, frankly, the Virtual Museum plan has been sent to only a few of the many (potentially) interested parties. That was because of difficulty in getting e-mail addresses, I mean, operating addresses. It also might be that getting into the blog from a link in the mail does not work in some cases, you click (or press control + click-on-link), but no go. (In such event: copy link and post in web browser address window, check that you got the URL right: http://zamart.blogspot.com/ ). It was, by the way, frightening to see how many e-mail addresses were not working, meaning owners had not informed their contacts of change of address.
Looking at the low response level to date, I am reminded of something William Bwalya Miko (artist and director of Zambia’s most prestigious art gallery) wrote: "....during the last four decades very few steps have been taken by artists and the powers that be in the area of visual arts development in Zambia, particularly in terms of international exposure.” (In a photocopied / computer printout paper, titled “KUNDWE” OUT HERE!, distributed in 2005). It is perhaps not all that clear to what extent this statement reflects William’s mood at the time and “objective reality.” William in the same paper acknowledges good progress in a number of areas but his statement that ...."more effort is needed.” is surely true, independent of anybody’s mood of the day.

What else?
·         A stand-alone page has been added labelled Publications. This page is to (a) have a bibliography of books and articles pertinent to Zambian art and document other forms of relevant information (including publications on Internet) and (b) facilitate publishing of and access to papers (as a post on this blog).
·         Two stand-alone pages are presently in the making:
1: Players is to list parties (artists, organisations, writers & others) acting in past and present on the Zambian art scene. Each of the entities shall/may have its own post, which can be accessed from the Players page tab and by other routes located at the sidebar.
2: Art for Sale is a stand-alone page linking to individual posts in which art work can be offered for sale (by artists, art dealers or owners wanting to sell, and where sales promotion can be placed (by artists, art dealers or galleries)). This page shall have elements of online shopping in it, and shall enable interested parties to contact artists, art owners and galleries to acquire information and purchase directly from them.
·         The Art for Sale page eventually is to be complemented by the Art Wanted page in which buyers looking for specific art can place their call.
And, most importantly: SHARE YOUR IDEAS BY POSTING A COMMENT OR SENDING AN E-MAIL! (and do save a copy for yourself in case of delivery failure).

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