Elson Kambalu back from India


Visual artist Elson Kambalu who triumphed in the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Innovation Awards in the arts category is back from India where he went courtesy of Wellcome Trust.

Kambalu, who was the only artist from Malawi, said during their visit they interacted with medical scientists from different parts of the world.

“Wellcome Trust funds numerous organisations across the world and they are these organisations that courted different artists from parts of the world to a meeting which was held in Mumbai,” said the artist.


He said the hosts were Wellcome/India DBT Alliance of India and that he was invited by virtue of his earlier involvement with Wellcome Trust through Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Centre in Blantyre.

“You may recall that I spent almost nine months as an artist in residence with outcomes of two exhibitions in Malawi and another one in Chikwawa and I ended with a three month exhibition in London where I interacted with several other artists,” said Kambalu, who owns La Galleria in Lilongwe.

The artist said during the conference he was involved in question and answer sessions where experts wanted to know on the outcomes of their residences which took place in sic different regions of the world.


“The core was to find out how artists can jointly work together with medical scientists in research. It centred on processes of engagements, ways of identification, issues of funding, methods of how such partnerships can be evaluated and other issues involving sustainability,” said Kambalu.

Apart from Malawi, the artist said the other artists came from Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Vietnam, United Kingdom, India, Germany and Thailand.

“The big question was can medical scientists and artists work together? Part of my presentation touched on my medical documentary on manhood enlargement which is set to come out soon,” said Kambalu.

The artist who has been in the forefront fighting for the betterment of the creative industry and has time and again called on fellow visual artists to start thinking outside the box in terms of their works, said the conference also offered them an opportunity to attend several exhibitions and visit galleries as part of the workshop.

Kambalu also said that other artists were drawn from performing arts which included drama and contemporary dance

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