My explorations of body, identity and memory are my attempts at connecting with the world, or rather understanding it. My artworks are either reflections, reactions or thought pieces that act as a time machine in which I unearth and reimagine the present, past or future. In a world drowned out by over-stimulation, I found my gentle pause in creating. Through the process of relearning, understanding and exploring - I try capture these moments of discovery into a visual language.
First inspired by Marcel Dzamas untitled drawing from the 90’s, A Note on keeping up Appearances, is a contemplation on local ‘happy culture’ and the many internal hoops we adopt and jump through in order to maintain a public persona.
It feels at most times it is a tiresome act of juggling faces - an ongoing performance that we take part in as shown in Decisions; what face will you put on today?
In the Pathological Museums stills, I contemplate on the three pathologies of colonization I host, or have hosted in my identity; portrayed as glass prisons of Language, Religion and Imperialism. In the words of Ngugi wa Thiong’o, ‘communication creates culture,’ therefore how can culture exist without language? I meditated over these words and the complexities of existing as both a product of tradition and a product of popular culture - English culture. What do we do with all the english we ate? Is there something to be done, or is this who we are now?
Valerie Asiimwe Amani, is an artistic explorer based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Her multimedia approach includes incorporating textile, poetry, moving image and digital collage into her work – most of which is self-taught. She has won awards in fashion and has a background in graphic design, writing and creative direction. She experiments with the elements of emotion and memory, her art pieces having narratives around the changing complexities of identity and body, along with the nuances of daily existence through a Neo-African feminine lens. Her work has been featured in various international exhibitions, including The Main Complaint at the Zeitz Mocaa, Cape Town and Magician: Black Bodies and Portraiture at the FFCA in Los Angeles. Furthermore she has co-authored a multimedia book titled Black Amara – a visual and literary journey of love, loss and healing to be available in late 2020. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Oxford (2020/21) and is creating art, curating exhibitions and writing while also facilitating artistic workshops.