SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

Vizazi Contemporary Visual Culture of Tanzania


Date: 23 July 2019Time: 9:30 AM

Finishes: 23 July 2019Time: 5:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 4426

Type of Event: Workshop


The Vizazi workshop will present and discuss current research about Tanzania’s visual culture that is being carried out by emerging scholars and artists.  Visual culture is inclusive of heritage/curatorial initiatives, conventional modernism and experimental art practices (also called ‘contemporary’ in global art circles). The presenters have not met face-to-face but share concerns to shrink the lacuna in art studies and consequent lack of a synthetic or joined up narrative for the history of art in Tanzania.  Why are the conditions for the production of new art so weak?  While Tanzania’s political history has long been decolonized, it seems that progress in the visual arts has stalled.   How can committed scholars and artists extend their understanding on how to use ‘the past’ in art-making to the upcoming generation? Concomitantly, the main presenters have research interests concerning connections between ‘London’ and Tanzanian art, which can also be understood in the rubric of ‘decolonization’. Perhaps, this workshop can energize transnational spaces for such research and creativity.

Why spotlight vizazi: Swahili plural form for a familial generation, for giving birth? By coincidence, a leitmotif of generational interactions became apparent in the programme: in Baer’s film and all the presentations.  As well, the workshop aims to generate synergy between kinds of art, art-makers and social generations.

Convenor: Elsbeth Court (SOAS)


Closed event. Invitation only.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of African Studies

Contact email:

Sponsor: SOAS Decolonising Working Group