Tuning-In: Other Ways of Seeing was realised as a two-part project, an exhibition and a series of projects in the form of school centred on workshops, discursive platforms, lectures, screening and pop-up shows. Tuning-In: Other Ways of Seeing, seeks to deconstruct the paradigms that have driven the reading/ seeing/ presentation/ representation of the arts in our local art scene. The project explores and employs critical thinking in the relationship between art production, theme, material and exhibition-making of the finished product. While illustrative as it may sound, but in a space where there is an enormous intellectual and infrastructural deficit the need to employ a process of unlearning- relearning of our society, the knowledge and methods that exist now is the only way out.
Molefi Kete Asante, once claimed ‘In the West, the ignorance of Africa is palpable, like a monster that invades our brains with disbelief, deception, and disinterest, yet is everywhere around us. We are victims of probably the most uninformed educated people in the world on the subject of Africa’. It is hard to disregard with such assumption, given many Western assumptions about the nature of life in any African country. Similarly, these assumptions have managed to also exist in some communities on the African continent, especially in situations were the expatriates is the primary beneficiary. Unfortunately, these presuppositions turn to reproduce wrong information, therefore false knowledge. Our local art scene is one such institution layered with uninformed know-how replicated over and over; hence, the situation we find ourselves. Tuning-In: Other Ways of Seeing proposals a Decolonial thinking methodology in reversing the current norm, through a process of unlearning and relearning. To critique the colonised knowledge through discursive platforms and to create exhibitions that deal with geopolitics, history and social issues that reflect on the status of local politics, whether impoverished or thriving.
Through Decolonial thinking, art can decolonise the colonial sensibilities to transform the norm of the uninformed educated, not just to make beautiful objects or paintings but to create critical well-articulated art. To develop new concepts of thinking that reflect in the art and the exhibition maker must at all term be ready to understand significant of the knowledge produced and how it relates to contemporary art and critical thinking. In an art scene like ours, the exhibition maker must be able to take their work as an epistemic project.
The exhibition brings together artists whose works explore the different hierarchy in society and social issues, and it brings awareness on the implications of unbalanced politics both locally and globally. Some of the artworks raised questions on the roles both government and people play in dealing with ecology and environmental issues from the local and how that relates to the global discussion on the same. The exhibition is as an illustration of the augments and views raised in the theme below and those to be discussed in the first chapter of the alternative school.
Victor Mutulekesha, Donna Kukama, Agnes Buya Yombwe, LoCA (Library), David Chirwa, Stephen Kapata, Wonder Sakala, Bitter-Sweet Chibuku, Milumbe Haimbe, Mapopa H Manda