Myths of Malawi fair goes to Lilongwe


German and Malawian artists did a splendid work through the Malawi/German Art Symposium to produce exciting paintings telling different stories which they later exhibited at La Caverna in Blantyre.

The artists learned from each other and were on point in their work documenting different stories no wonder they won the hearts of many during the exhibition.

Now after the exhibition in Blantyre, the exhibition which was running under the theme Myths of Malawi goes to Lilongwe next month.


Co-curator Ellis Singano said they were happy as artists to have worked together adding that the feedback they received during the exhibition in Blantyre has motivated them to work hard and go beyond telling different stories through their paintings.

Singano alongside fellow local artist Eva Chikabadwa told stories of Pheluzunje and Kamdothi through their paintings. These are stories told long time ago and were meant to among others instill discipline and love.

Curator Kris Heide, a German art historian said the Malawi/German Art Symposium will be helpful for the future for the promotion of Myths of Malawi in Germany.


“All of us learned a lot from each other and we had lots of fun. The German artists wrote that now “pangono pangono” they realise the great input of the symposium and of Africa and this is the same comment I got from some Malawian artists,” she said.

Heide who exhibited her works through the Chitenje cloths said she tried to summarise the impression she got by reading many of the tales.

“They deal very often with envy and have the moral that sharing is the attitude we should have for living in peace together. This is actually also the message of many German tales I know. So I tried to combine this with my Malawian way of Chitenje portraits,” she said. Heide said two portraits share the cloth in harmony and that they even share their shadows and light reflections on the faces where they come together.

“The pattern of the cloth has lots of circles, a kind of perfect and harmonious form. You should get a warm and positive feeling looking at this work,” she explained.

She said the theme Myths of Malawi is related to the oral storytelling tradition of Malawi as there is an immanent connection between the two art languages of free storytelling, interpretation, embellishment and fine arts.

She said the project looks back to the traditional myths in order to tie in with the pre-colonial identity of Malawi connected to current art positions.

„We want to get an authentic, contemporary and self-conscious idea of the today’s culture of Malawi. The perspective of the German artists in the position of foreigners allow an crosscultural dialogue. This kind of distance could be an opportunity to express things more clearly and precisely,“ she said.

Apart from Heide and Singano, the other artists participating in the exhibition which will later move to Germany next year include Gilbert Mpakule, Peter Ndyani, Kenneth Namalomba, Theophany Nammero, George Mkumbula, David Mzengo , Mark Krause, Karl Dautermann and Michael Plaetschke.

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