Location: Blantyre, Malawi
Research Centre: Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust
Clinical Research Programme
“I grew up observing people and events. I find
it funny somehow, that friends and family did not seem to take much
interest in my own stories, and so I spent much time listening to
theirs. That ‘awkward’ position created a rich artistic base in me.
I am among a new crop of contemporary African artists who are doing
away with mere optical formalism. I am increasingly drawn to
conceptual and participatory work. I love people, am interested in
listening to their stories and driven by a curiosity about what the
future might bring.” Elson Kambalu
While in residence, Elson will be exploring
the gaps between traditional and modern medicine that influence
health research. The outcomes of his residency will include
exhibitions and performances in Blantyre, Lilongwe and one rural
"I will probably enter the Guinness Book of Records as one of the first Artists-in- Residence within Malawi..."
"The challenge is to take domestic murals to a general audience while maintaining its texture and appearance. What kind of product can reflect and stay true to the communities involved?"
"Health issues are usually addressed by women because of their standing in society. The question is: how do we bring the men into the picture?"
"The documentary explored views of the six major issues affecting medical research in Malawi: blood and superstitions, consent and gender, language barriers, literacy levels, culture in general, and poverty and incentives."
Elson began his residency in April
Kambalu’s CV [PDF, 87KB]
Image: Elson Kambalu. Photo © Jacob