Social zoometry aims, through social-political symbolism of animals and their disposition, to explore human oligarchy and power structures in which power rests with a small number of people. I use zoomorphic and anthropomorphic visual templates to present my case.
These suggest human characteristics for animals or inanimate things as well as relating to, or being a deity conceived of in animal form or with animal attributes. The benign power of animals to teach, question and affirm is explored in our daily relationships with them. I juggle sensitive current themes such as the absolute power lust of human beings over their kin and also over animal beings. African cultural psychology in relation to animals is also a dominant thread that weaves these ideas together.
The exploration of this theme possesses another twist as I highlight the tasteless, cheap and shoddy abuse of animals by human beings in our society. We are exposing human folly through the act of deriding and treating these animals with contempt. There are so many disturbing cultural practices that are happening in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole. Goats are being drowned in drums of locally brewed beer in rural areas and to be eaten without salt, and chickens are being starved for a few days all in the name of culture. In addition, some religious beliefs go to the extent of ritual sacrifices at the expense of these domesticated animals.
I believe if we all have a heart for animals then it will be very easy to love one another. We witness these abuses daily, read and hear about them, yet we do not take time to think and act upon them The fact is that we are all being affected by it one way or another; socially, spiritually, politically or psychologically. The law is too loose or not effective enough to put an end to this behaviour. Social zoometry is there to replace the roots of cruelty with the seeds of love; love for animals is the beginning of a welcoming and loving nation.
24 April, 2014