CFP: Vizazi vingi: Tanzanian Modern & Contemporary Art in Regional & Globalizing Art Worlds

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ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2023, University College London
12-14 APRIL 2023

Deadline for submissions: 4 November 2022

Full details of the conference and sessions/ convenors can be found here: http://https://forarthistory.org.uk/conference/2023-annual-conference/

Vizazi vingi: Tanzanian Modern & Contemporary Art in Regional & Globalizing Art Worlds
Elsbeth Court, SOAS University of London, ec6@soas.ac.uk
Jonathan Shirland, Bridgewater State University, MA, USA, jshirland@bridgew.edu


Recently, artists born in Tanzania or with a Tanzanian affiliation have been gaining
new levels of recognition in international exhibitions, heritage initiatives and art
historical discourse. This includes practitioners from different generations who use
diverse visual media, some of whom operate transnationally. Yet lacunae persist
regarding Tanzania’s historical engagements with modern art at home, with other
regions of eastern Africa, and with the wider world. These concerns animated the
2019 art and decolonization workshop Vizazi convened at SOAS University of
London upon which this session builds. Vizazi: generations, derived from the Swahili
verb -zaa to give birth, focuses attention upon the importance of generational
interactions – and reactions. We seek to explore how different generations of
Tanzanian artists have reimagined and used the past in transnational spaces of
exchange and operated alongside the decolonization of the country’s political history.
The session marks the centenary of Sam Ntiro’s birth (the first Tanzanian artist to
receive international attention) and aims to draw on recent scholarship about - and
by - a subsequent generation of artists who work in Europe including Lubaina Himid
(b.1954, Zanzibar) and Everlyn Nicodemus (b.1954, Moshi). It also brings attention
to the younger, millennium generation of artists who currently are exploring their
place in wider art worlds. We welcome proposals that focus on artists from Tanzania
and its diasporas whose work reflects on the theme Vizazi as well as proposals
considering other East African viewpoints about the institutions, markets and politics
different generations of cultural workers from the region have mediated.