DR Congo, Tanzania, Zambia
The Afro Ndi Luso Residency this year will take the form of an experimental research residency, hosted by Modzi Arts. It is specifically tailored towards professional artists and curators working within multi-disciplinary backgrounds in photography, writing, installation, sculpture, video, sound, and performance and design arts. The programme will be a highly interactive and participatory, running from
22 February to 15 March 2021 in Mbala, Northern Zambia.
The residency will focus on exploring ideas and perspectives through employing Bantu research methods that artists and curators will develop through a series of encounters with historical sites, ethnology collection and localities around Mbala. The residency will engage with the ways in which African artefacts are presented and framed within African museum collections, and look at ways of recreating modern archival spaces by Africans for Africans. The residency will also reconnect participants with Zambia’s most prolific artist, Ba Henry Tayali, of which the Moto Moto Museum holds the only large mural of his work within Zambia, and of continuous research and knowledge exchange on Zambian modern art from the 1940s to 1990s. By understanding the position of such ancestral artists’ works which are held within the museum space, the programme will explore data to highlight the importance for such spaces to exist holistically amongst Zambian, Tanzanian and Congolese research artists and cultural curators.
The residence programme aims to allow participants to learn different methods of research and receive mentorship from selected African artists and curators based around the world. These intellectual mentors, led by Chief Agathon Kausa (aka Agxon), who is both a traditional chief and an artiste from Democratic Republic of Congo, also comprise of Professor Jelili Atiku, Nigeria; Dr. Tebogo George Mahashe, South Africa; Mwamba Mulangala, Zambia; Agness and Lawrence Yombwe, Zambia. These mentors, together with other regional partners, will engage with the participants through online talks and lecture schedule.
The residency takes place through the collaboration of regional partners Centre d’art Waza Nafasi Art Space, Kin ArtStudio and Congo Biennale as well as Wayiwayi Art Studio and Gallery and Power FM Zambia.
MEET THE ARTISTS
Aaron Samuel Mulenga | Multi-disciplinary Artist in Painting, Sculpturing, Installation, Photography and Video | Zambia
From an early age, Aaron was introduced to visual images. The one place that these stood out the most was in a huge family bible which had an assortment of color and black and white images in it. Aaron copied these images and created his own from themes similar to the ones there. However, as he grew and obtained a more critical eye, he realized that the images he was looking at constantly and using as inspiration did not look like him or his family. This was a starting point for him to begin engaging with concepts of representation in his work, revolving ideas surrounding cultural representation and spirituality, be it Christianity of African spiritual representations. It engages symbolism as a vehicle to explore concepts of power, representation and belonging. For this residency, ideas of power related to narratives surrounding cultural heritage from the African continent are where his interests lie. he shall explore how cultural heritage objects play a part in shaping dominant narratives over African culture with a specific focus on the Bemba people’s cultures.
Isaac Kalambata | Multi-disciplinary Artist in Installation and Painting | Zambia
Isaac Kalambata’s work addresses the distortions, misrepresentation of Africa’s past, traditions, and projecting possible futures of the continent’s science, myths and traditions. In his current work he focuses on filling blank spaces in the colonial narrative by taking archived text and blacking out narratives to shift to what is relevant to the indigenous narrative. With no formal training in art, art has always been a part of Isaac. His skills are largely influenced by comic books and the decision to practice professionally, which allowed him to interact with other artists. Isaac embodies an attitude of learning as he goes on. In his words, “I am just happy to share my world, my thoughts and my existence through art and hope that it positively informs, stimulates and amuses mankind.” For Afro Ndi Luso, Isaac aims to explore indigenous knowledge as a path to the future and as a point of entry into conversations around belief and identity in the Zambian context. His project focuses on notions to reconnecting to the past and projecting the future.
Joseph Kasau | Video Artist | D.R Congo
Joseph Kasau aims for one thing in all his work, to tell stories, emotions or feelings, with the simplest words, the least complicated images and the most suitable medium to relate to others. “My intention is above all to deny myself (as I know myself hybridized and confused) so that, in this very act of denial, I can find the way in the idea that a typically African traditional intelligence has existed for ages and can save me from the grip of modernism in order to reactivate my way of making the world and giving meaning to things (as a source of power) and to acts (as a means of communicating this power). Between the desire to experiment new practices and the need to discover myself, I would like to surprise and redefine myself.”
Gankhanani Moffat Moyo | Poet and Writer | Zambia
Gankhanani Moffat Moyo is both an artiste, and arts and culture academic. Gankhanani, who is a PhD candidate at the University of Zambia where he teaches, has attended high level UNESCO trainings in Intangible Cultural heritage (ICH) leading him to be one of the key figures in ICH in Zambia. Currently a faculty member on the degree programmes in ICH and Zambian Culture and Ceremonies (ZCC) among others, Gankhanani is a keen experimental artist with a desire to learn more from practicing experts. Being a writer and poet himself, Gankhanani is also a cultural expert and literary critic who teaches at the University of Zambia. His research interests include cultural safeguarding, literary theory, the African novel, and modernism. “My newly found passion is studies in Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and identity”. In 2017, Gankhanani founded Kalulu Kreativez, a hub of African arts and culture which is to house a nationwide cultural and performance centre in Rufunsa district, Zambia.
Mulenga J. Mulenga | Multi-disciplinary Artist in Painting, Installation, Performance and Photography | Zambia
Mulenga Jestina Mulenga’s works considers current and historical representations of female black bodies within the context of post-colonial Zambia, specifically the ways in which deeply rooted social roles and identities are reproduced and reinforced throughout every stage of life. Mulenga works across painting, sculpture, photography, installation and performance, to revisit and reimagining old and new narratives that connect themes of gender and socio-cultural discourses within the legacy of colonialism. In Afro Ndi Luso, Mulenga plans to re-contextualize some of “mbusa” elements of the ChiBemba people, of femininity, into a contemporary framework creating hybrid representations of the present woman. And also to question ways that Mbusa symbolism can emphasize empowerment with regards to ethnicity & urbanization.
Liberatha Alibalio | Multi-disciplinary Artist in Textile and Installation | Tanzania
Liberatha Alibalio is based in Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania. After graduating from the University of Dar-esSalaam with a BSc. in Textile Design and Technology (2018), she began working as a visual artist, focusing on the mediums of fabric, fibres, dyes and other multimedia arts. Having grown up in Kagera, Tanzania, her work is informed by her childhood in the countryside, and she uses it to reflect on the past and the creation of new narratives based on her identity and context. She has participated in several exhibitions in Tanzania, including the Other Worldly exhibition as well as the East Africa Biennale in 2019. In 2020, she was part of the first edition of the Nafasi Academy, presented by the Nafasi Art Space in Dar-es-Salaam, in which she participated in several artist-led workshops, collaborated with other young contemporary artists as well as exhibited her most recent work at the Inner Vision exhibition at Tanzania national museum. For Afro Ndi Luso, Liberatha is interested to research, experiment and discover ways to better document our culture and art creativity that speaks better of our Bantuism, by connectig with other neighboring African countries, artists and curators, and together exploring the ancestral archives.
Paul C. Malaba | Multi-disciplinary Artist in Performance, Video and Installation | D.R Congo
Paul c Malaba is a visual artist who lives and works in Lubumbashi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is an artist who discovered the true meaning of his talent at the Lubumbashi Waza Art Center. His practice includes performance, video, installation, painting and drawing. He has participated in various workshops, residencies and exhibitions in Africa, many more in his hometown. Paul’s work had him explored on personal reality while using his body. He feels alive and cares for those around him, he talks about his search for balance in a world of conflict where the powerful trample on the weak; the emergence of new expressions awaits him at every step. The emptiness of our museums has a significant and negative impact on the young people. As far as education and identity are concerned, Many young people are ignorant of the African culture, their History because of the deportation and perdition of the man and his History. This residency will allow him to discover and get in touch with the kind of collections which expose objects isolated from the public for dethroning the ethnographic.
Winifrid Luena | Photographer | Tanzania
Luena is a Tanzanian visual artist working across various mediums including photography, video art, digital design and illustration. He is based in Dar es Salaam and has since 2016 been involved in various exhibitions both in Tanzania and abroad. Winifrid Luena’s sense of truthiness or evidence that photography always carries drives his practice to social documentary and fine art. He uses forms, textures, colour and light that are found in an ordinary moments of life to highlight and embrace the differences and the commonalities among us, humans, regardless of geographical and periodical separation. In his photography he always presents challenging notions about identity and representation, in a liberating way. Through this residency, he will work on archives of photographs and question their representation of the subjects to its viewers.