Kudos to Zegó
Posted 2:24PM on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 Pacific Time
Congratulations to Zegó, who was recognized tonight as one of the Mozambique's emerging artists. This morning, before meeting up with Alcides and Chris for a day of filming the BYkids documentary, Zegó got a telephone call and was advised to be ready to accept his award at a private dinner ceremony at the Restaurante 1908 in downtown Maputo. During the day's filming, he bumped into a colleague and traded pants with him on the street so that he would be more presentable for the formal evening affair.
Honored for his 2005 documentary exploring the generation gap among Mozambique's established and emerging generations of artists, Zegó was given a cash prize, and more significantly, recognition for work that looks closely at the country's social and political issues.
"Something like this does not happen every day," Zegó kept saying after the ceremony, with his characteristic cool enthusiasm. I ran into him at the restaurant by chance. My group, from the photography side of the project, ended up there in search of a dinner experience. He had been summoned to be honored. Zegó hadn't had the time to organize a family member to accompany him, so he brought someone else he's spent a lot of time with this past week -- project film mentor Christopher Zalla.
I see Zegó as part of a generation of Mozambician artists and activists who see art and activism as equally important parts of citizenship and community-building. Next month, he performs in a one-man show about the country's political situation. The play was written by the friend he met on the street, who loaned him pants for tonight's ceremony. In November, Zegó travels to Brazil to screen and lecture on the film that earned him his honor. Next year, he travels to Russia to work on a film about a road trip from St. Petersburg to Siberia.