A Malawian arts environment has been enlisted as part of a cross-continental art festival.
Under the banner of Ozhope Collective, the project is part of the final list for the fourth edition of the Boda Boda Lounge Video festival.
“Today, Ozhope Collective got the great news that our work has been selected to participate in the Boda Boda Lounge Project Now Bite the Hand That Feeds You, an exhibition featuring artists from across the African continent and its diaspora,” announced one of the artists behind the Ozhope Collective, Masa Lemu.
Another member of the Ozhope Collective, cultural critic Emmanuel Ngwira, said in an interview their project is among 16 artists and arts collectives from across the world.
“There are countries such as Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa, UK, Germany and France. The festival will be screened from 22 spaces from across the African continent from November 20 to 22. The programme on when exactly and channels will to be communicated later,” he said.
The project delves into the life around the Lake Malawi which continues to be threatened by issues like the politics of fishing, pollution and climate change, among other matters.
“Our aim is to join and enhance conversations on Lake Malawi. The whole idea is for us [Malawians] not to just be overtaken by the oil exploration but also look at the effects on livelihood from such.
“The oil debate has not been transparent and it is piecemeal information that is being channelled to the public. So, through art, we want to have honest and clear conversations,” he said.
Videos taken from a journey of trying to understand the Lake Malawi oil exploration issue are what will be screened during the festival.
“We are showing what we shot in Salima as we are doing the project in phases. So far, we are done with Southern and Central regions.
“The whole idea is to interact with people from across cultural divides so that we get views that represent people along the lake as it cuts across the country,” explained Ngwira.
Under the theme, Now, Bite the Hand that Feeds You, this year’s festival festival has attracted artists both in and out of Africa.
“We are happy to announce the selected artists for the 4th edition of the Boda Boda Lounge project. Selected from over 112 entries by artists across almost 25 countries, the final list includes 16 artists and artist collectives from the Africa continent and the diaspora,” reads a post on the festival’s Facebook page.
Initiated by the Visual Arts Network of South Africa and Centre d’art Waza from in 2014, the main aim of the project is to diffuse video art across the continent.
“It intends to enable wide access for African artists to be part of the festival and at the same time working with a range of African arts organisations. It is an engagement with low-cost, widely accessible exchange processes on the African continent. Now Bite the Hand that Feeds You will be the 4th edition of the project.
Ozhope Collective comprises two visual artists; Lemu and Paul Chimbwanya, Ngwira and photo-cum-videographer, Tavwana Chirwa.