For over 20 years Harare was known not only as a cultural city, but also as a friendly and unpretentious place.
In recent years the mood has changed drastically in the city and the exuberance of the 1980s and the stoic optimism of the 1990s have been replaced with quiet despair.
The effect of chronic hyperinflation in Zimbabwe is that life has become extremely unpredictable - prices can double overnight with no warning, which often makes it impossible for people plan their lives even a week in advance.
The stress is clearly visible everywhere and most people have little time for luxuries such as culture and self-expression.
People & Power
But the role of the arts in the city is as crucial as ever and because the only radio and TV broadcaster in the country is state-owned ZTV, live performances play a crucial role in getting alternative voices heard.
Harare has always had a huge appetite for live music, and even in the most difficult times you can still find a band 7 nights a week.
But with the power cuts and beer shortages venue after venue is shutting down. The ones that survive often feature escapist light entertainment. Such escapism is popular given the daily hardships many Zimbabweans are forced to endure....
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