ITP Research Support Grant Report and film: Uambembe’s Border War and the search for home Fadzai Muchemwa (Zimbabwe, ITP 2017)

Fadzai Muchemwa successfully applied for the first ITP Research Support Grant of 2021, to assist research related to her MA studies. As a second year Master’s 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 project focused on interdisciplinary artist Helena Uambembe’s practice.

Describing the research project, Fadzai states that ‘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.’

We are pleased to release Fadzai’s Final Report on the project today, alongside a short film depicting some of the valuable time spent and conversations between Fadzai and Helena during the research process.

There will be more to expect from this project coming later this year. A second in conversation with Fadzai and Helena will feature in our upcoming third series of ITP Online Subject Specialist Sessions. More details are coming soon!