Born in Dar es Salaam in 1976, Lutengano Mwakisopile is a self-taught visual artist. The subject matter in Mwakisopile’s work is derived from his memories, experiences, hopes and aspirations. This woodcut print highlights Swahili culture and diversity of colours that make up the khanga and the women that wear them.
Mwandale Mwanyekwa, A.K.A Big Mama, comes from the Makonde tribe who are well known for their traditional Makonde sculptures. She is the 5th generation of women sculptors in her family. Her aim is to keep alive the history of the female Makonde sculptors through her art, and reflect on the skills and culture from her maternal side, who were masters at clay work, carpentry and sculpture in Tanzania and Mozambique. She takes the traditional sculptural style of the Makonde and adds a contemporary approach.
Born in 1974 in Njombe, Tanzania, Cloud Chatanda specialises in illustration and painting. Born the second child of eight to the late captain and solider Augustino Chatanda, his family was reluctant for him to pursue a career in art. With encouragement from his teachers and peers at school, he started creating illustrations and finally took the leap into working as an artist full time.
Paul Ndunguru is a Tanzanian visual artist, performer, and educator who creates comics, sculpture, installations, and paintings.
Peke is an almost life-size fibreglass elephant created to pose the worrying question to the public: what if there was only one elephant left in Tanzania? Although work is being done to combat poaching in Tanzania, much of it does not engage the general public, many of whom have never seen an elephant.
Professor Elias Eliezar Jengo was born in 1936 in Tanga, Tanzania. He trained at Makerere University and has taught at the University of Dar es Salaam. Jengo is a writer and painter who has exhibited both locally and internationally. In 1997 the Royal Geographic Society of Britain appointed him to work with Jonathan Kingdon, a British artist and an evolutionary zoologist, to record their artistic observations of the Mkomazi Ecological Project.
Professor Jengo is the founding board chairman of Nafasi Art Space.
Nicholas Calvin (born 1987) is a filmmaker and photographer fascinated by the potential of an image to portray universal human stories. In 2012, while working in Rungwe, a village in the Southern Highland of Tanzania, he came across the story of a group of people living with HIV/AIDS, which later became a subject of his first documentary film, Kama Wewe (Just Like You). His work seeks to share stories and moments from the region.
Masoud Kibwana (b. 1988) is a painter from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Through a blend of cubism and African figurative painting, Kibwana’s paintings capture the beauty, culture and traditions of the East African people.
Incorporated into his art are the intricate tribal patterns that can still be seen tattooed into the faces of the Makonde people of Tanzania and Mozambique. His work is characterised by the intertwining of subjects and colour combinations not immediately identified as African. Through his work Kibwana explores the challenges that have hampered development and sustainability in the Tanzanian community.
Curated by Rebecca Corey, Beatrice McDermott, and Asteria Malinzi.
All images copyright of the artists.