Art Exchange: Moving image is a cross-cultural curatorial professional development and exhibition programme for early to mid-career visual arts curators from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia taking place from 2023-2025. The programme will support curators selected from open calls to work with and respond to moving image works from the British Council Visual Arts Collection. The programme is managed by LUX, the UK agency for the support and promotion of artists working with the moving image on behalf of the British Council. The Sub-Saharan Africa programme is delivered in partnership with Guest Artists Space Foundation, Nigeria.
The six winning curators, selected through an open call, receive mentoring support from LUX and G.A.S., and a dedicated programme of professional development and networking opportunities. These activities are delivered alongside a fully-funded research trip to the UK in Autumn 2023, an opportunity to work with moving image works in the British Council visual arts collection as well as logistical and financial support to stage a final exhibition. They also receive a curatorial fee and their host venue will receive funding for the exhibition staging.
During 2023-2024 LUX and Guest Artists Space Foundation will work with curators in Sub-Saharan Africa to develop a series of exhibition projects responding to moving image works in the British Council Collection. We are happy to announce the following participants on the programme.
Presently finding liminal grounds between artistic practice and the curatorial, Abbey IT-A is increasingly interested in the proverbial discursiveness inherent in Contemporary Art and how it holds in praxis. They explore this concern through experimental, multi-vocal, curatorial interventions with text and conversation as likely points of departure in an independent practice. Additionally, as an associate at the Foundation for Contemporary Art-Ghana, they help promote contemporary Ghanaian art practices and discourses through research, workshops, seminars, exhibitions, interventions, and labs.
Educated in Ghana, they earned their BFA from the Department of Painting and Sculpture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, where they are currently a candidate for an MFA. Abbey lives and works in Accra and Kumasi.
Rosie Olang’ Odhiambo
Rosie Olang’ Odhiambo (she/her) is a curator, artist and bookmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her artistic and curatorial approach is hinged on a commitment to generative collaborative processes, centering local context and deep research, all thoughtfully deployed to develop exhibitions, publications and programming that is accessible, sustainable, ambitious and liberatory. She is currently exploring zines, and artists’ books as formats to play across various disciplines engaging with decolonial, queer, feminist, and black radical traditions. More recently alongside down river road and friends she has been experimenting with sound art and installation formats.
Rosie has worked in research, editorial, communications, writing, and project management roles with literary, and visual arts and culture organizations in East Africa and the United States and has previously served as the Head of Programs at the Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute(NCAI).
Ese Emmanuel is a writer, cultural worker and curator, among other things. Alongside other curators at Monangambee – a nomadic Lagos-based microcinema – they organise screenings that engage Black continental and diasporic filmmakers, Third Cinema, and cinematic movements stemming from the Global South. Her work prioritises the radical imaginary, making space for collaboration, play, care, and rest. They currently live and work between Lagos and Ibadan, Nigeria.
Mirembe is a curator, writer, and researcher. Their interdisciplinary curatorial practice attends to literary and visual cultures through a black studies lens. They explore ideas of blackness as a shared ground for intimacy, theory, play, and method. They work with the Njabala Foundation in Kampala to promote and facilitate visibility for women artists.
Mirembe is currently a research fellow with the Center for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape. They have held fellowships and residencies with the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town, the Arak Art Collection in Doha, the Center for Arts, Design + Social Research in Boston, 32° Degrees East | Ugandan Arts Trust in Kampala, and Bag Factory Artists’ Studios in Johannesburg.
Mirembe’s writing has been published in Artforum, Africa is a Country, African Arguments, Literary Hub, Johannesburg Review of Books, African Feminism, and others.
Jesse Gerard Mpango
Jesse Gerard Mpango is a storyteller from Kasulu, Tanzania. He is a founding member of Ajabu Ajabu, a multimedia curatorial collective based in Dar Es Salaam. Ajabu Ajabu employs participatory, open ended approaches in its programming and events as a way of exploring de-centralized and communal forms of presentation, production and preservation of audio visual work in Tanzania – and works towards engaging, documenting and re-enforcing subcultures responding to monolithic and exclusionary global media frameworks.
Recent projects include Manifested Belonging, a multidisciplinary examination of formal and aesthetic contributions of Dar Es Salaam’s screen communities and a component work, the award winning documentary short Apostles Of Cinema.
Kefiloe Siwisa is a cultural worker and curator based in Johannesburg. Her practice is grounded in curatorial consciousness, a wakeful, sustainable approach that prioritises emotional literacy, empathy, collective presencing, and (rest)oration.
Past positions include Senior Associate at Stevenson Gallery, Lead Curator of Turbine Art Fair (2019) and Assistant Curator of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fairs’ public programme platform Forum. Siwisa has collaborated with institutions and produced projects in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Morocco. Recent curatorial projects include Bird Sound Orientations, a solo exhibition by Rahima Gambo (Stevenson, Johannesburg), ICA Live Art Festival (Institute for Creative Arts, Cape Town), and Equations for a Body at Rest by Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi (Birmingham 2022 Festival x Commonwealth Games). Siwisa is currently the Project Coordinator for Reimagining Heritage, Archives and Museums: Today/Tomorrow (Institut français d’Afrique du Sud).
Siwisa is the co-founder of Queertopia, a queer-centered experiential festival conceptualised around Being (in all one’s multiplicity) as a radical act of future world-building. She holds an MFA in Curating (Goldsmiths University of London) and a BA in Drama, Art History, and Visual Culture (University of Cape Town).