Announcement! The First ITP Research Support Grant of 2021 Awarded to Fadzai Muchemwa (Zimbabwe, ITP 2017)

In response to International Training Programme fellows seeking support to attend conferences and carry out research, the ITP is offering financial assistance to attend and participate in conferences and to conduct research which will help develop professional skills and networks in the museum and heritage sector.

We are delighted to announce that Fadzai Muchemwa (Zimbabwe, ITP 2017) successfully applied for an ITP Research support grant recently, to assist research related to her MA studies. As a second year Masters student in the Arts of Africa and the Global Souths research programme in the Fine Arts department at Rhodes University in South Africa, Fadzai’s latest project focuses on interdisciplinary artist Helena Uambembe’s practice.

Fadzai’s summary of the research:
‘Uambembe’s Border War and the Search for Home is research into artist Helena Uambembe’s practice, positionality and context and how she uses these to recreate, invade and reposition the history of the 32 Battalion —the infantry Battalion of the South African Army Founded in 1975. Uambembe draws on her own history rooted in the small town of Pomfret, where she was born of Angolan parents and where her father was recruited into the 32 Battalion. In an attempt to understand her family history within the bigger context of the country’s history, Uambembe wrestles with painful memories, absences and erasures. This project will look at how her practice has been influenced by this history and how she is influencing this history as well. This is continuation of research into creatives on the move.’

Helena Uambembe in performance from the publication Curating Johannesburg. Photo taken by Phumulani Ntuli

Following this project, Fadzai will share her findings with the network on the subjects she will study including working with living artists, engaging with communities and dealing with difficult histories and says, ‘I feel that the impact of communities in cultural production is important and hence such connections should be explored to engage with the community and to better understand the artist. I do think this will have an impact on how I will deal with research with living artists back home in Zimbabwe. To think of the artist beyond their work and their artist statement.’ During the research period, Fadzai also hopes to meet with other ITP fellows in South Africa to share her experience and connect with the local ITP network. This ITP grant-supported work builds on Fadzai’s ITP Summer Programme experience, helping to expanding her network and community whilst gaining skills on how to work with living artists without the safety net of an institution and thus strengthening her research skills.

Previous to the Research support grant, Fadzai attended the ITP’s Summer Programme in 2017, followed by ITP+ Courses in both London (2017) and Mumbai (2019) – we can’t wait to see the results of this latest opportunity.

Image courtesy of Helena Uambembe for use in this blog post

In the past, the ITP has supported fellows from Egypt, India, Uganda and Armenia to attend or speak at conferences in the UK and we would like to extend this offer to the entire network through open application, for international conferences and professional research. Each fellow can apply for up to 60% of the costs incurred by attending the conference or carrying out their research – up to a maximum of £1000. You can read more about the grants here.