Saturday, November 12, 2011

Zimbabwe Soda Can Nativity

The Gale Center in South Jordan, UT has just received and installed a new exhibit on loan from the Hyde family. The Hyde family enjoys collecting unusual nativities from poor or developing countries as a means of helping the artisans generate income in a way that preserves their dignity. 

This Nativity scene is made from strips of recycled soda cans woven into a wire frame. In Africa, soda cans are made from tin-coated steel with aluminum tops, so only the tops are desirable for traditional recycling. Since the rest of the can is unusable, a whole crafts industry has sprung up to profit from this metal. 

The scene was created by an organization called GuguCrafters, comprised of four Zimbabwean refugees living in Cape Town, South Africa. They left Zimbabwe because of the politi cal turmoil, hyperinflation, extreme shortages of basic foods and service, and very high unemployment. Like so many Zimbabweans who have flooded into South Africa, they only desire to earn a basic living to support their families located either with them in South Africa or back home in Zimbabwe.

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