Nigerian artist and lifestyle photographer, Jumoke Sanwo, on Monday officially opened her photography and installation exhibition titled Silence des Femmes at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre.
This is the first time for Jumoke to visit the country as well as hold an exhibition which will run up to Saturday.
Jumoke is holding the exhibition in collaboration with Pen Malawi.
This is the second exhibition to take place at JCC this year following the success of the first exhibition titled Traditional Tales of Malawi by visual artists Panji Tembo and Ellis Singano.
“I am happy with the reception I have received today on the official opening. I am also happy to hold an exhibition for the first time in Malawi and I hope to generate a debate through the exhibition but also create a platform for discussion,” Jumoke said.
She said she was looking forward to visiting Malawi again.
“It’s been exciting to interact with fellow women artists and get to learn their stories. Malawi is a fantastic country and there is that stillness. In this exhibition I am looking at the issue of silence for example silence about sexual violence and silence on issues affecting women,” she said.
The exhibition is running in the month of March where the world celebrates women.
“There are a lot of issues affecting women and that includes cultural issues which Malawi has not been spared. It is also the same in Nigeria. Women are affected by some cultural practices and there is need to take away certain aspects in this 21st century,” Jumoke said.
A graduate of English Studies from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, Jumoke said she has held discussions with JCC on workshops and art residencies.
“There is so much we need to do as artists so I would love to come back next year and interact with children. I am also looking at possibilities of collaborations and workshops with artists here,” she said.
Jumoke also revealed that she runs an arts space in Nigeria and that she would want to organise artists’ residencies.
“We need collaborations and art residencies between Nigeria and Malawi because there are so many stories out there,” Jumoke said.
She called on artists in the country and Africa to work together and use their voice to address issues in the society and help bring about development.
JCC and Maison de la France Deputy Director, Daisy Belfield, said they were happy to host a well-known artist, who has travelled the world with her work.
“Her exhibition is very powerful and there is a huge amount of artworks talking about breaking silence and women issues so we call Upen people to come and be part of this exhibition,” Belfield said.
She said the venue will continue to hold a variety of activities.
“We have an exhibition by Kungoni coming up on the influence of technology in contemporary Malawi, we have performances by Faith Mussa and Agorosso so people should just watch the space for it is going to be vibrant,” she said.
Jumoke has had her works exhibited in New York in USA, Brussels in Belgium, Dubai, Sudan, Ethiopia, Ghana and Chad.
Her recent works have reflected on identity and aesthetics concerns which foster the discourse of re-imaging the African continent.
As a well-known artist, some of her works are selling at over half a million, an indication that art is not cheap.
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