Project Description



The London-based artist and author Samson Kambalu, born in 1975 in Malawi, received his degree in Fine Arts and Ethnomusicology at the University of Malawi, followed by a Masters in Fine Arts from Nottingham Trent University and a Ph.D from the Chelsea College of Art and Design.

He has shown his work around the world, including at the Dakar Biennale (2014), the Tokyo International Art Festival (2009) and the Liverpool Biennial (2004, 2016). He has won research fellowships with Yale University and Smithsonian Institution, and was included in All the World’s Futures, Venice Biennale 2015. Kambalu works in a variety of media, including site-specific installation, video, performance and literature.

His work is auto-biographical, and his basic influences stem from both the nyau prestation social structures of his native Malawi and the Protestant tradition of inquiry, criticism and dissent. His first novel, a portrait of the artist growing up in Africa, The Jive Talker or How to Get A British Passport, was awarded Winner of the National Book Tokens ‘Global Reads’ Prize (2010). Kambalu’s recent novel, Uccello’s Vineyard, is a narrative about photography and art set in the Middle Ages.