Ozhopé Collective (MW)
Residency period: January-March 2023
During our residency, we created a series of ten scrolls/collages composed of images of the rich textural surface of Malawian dugout canoes, which we have gathered since 2017 and nailed and glued to driftwood found on the shores of Lake Geneva. This collage technique is inspired by the methods of Malawian fishermen who repair their canoes by patching them up with various materials such as metal, plastic, and tar. This patching method helps turn the canoe into a beautifully textured and textual surface, carrying multiple stories of the lake shore communities and of Malawi’s society at large.
We also created an installation of a small boat elevated on scaffolds on a beach near La Becque featuring megaphones and a rowing rule “wamkulu” spirit. This work point at how the two vastly distanced lake regions are actually closely linked in ecological, economic, political, and social terms. — Ozhopé Collective
Founded in 2017, the Ozhopé collective consists of two artists (Ella Banda and Massa Lemu), two photographers/videographers (Tavwana Chirwa and Augustine Magolowondo) and a writer (Emmanuel Ngwira). The main purpose of Ozhopé is to collaboratively produce art that stimulates conversation and invites critical thinking about social, economic, and political issues in everyday life. The group’s name derives from the word “wosopé” a Yao term that translates to “all of them”. It was later changed to “ozhopé” the root of which refers to the collective ethos that drives the group’s collaborative practice. Ozhopé has exhibited at Lake Malawi, at Zomba Market, in the streets of Lilongwe city, at the University of Malawi, at Art Collective Bureau in Cape Town, at Boda Boda Panafrican Video Art Festival, at City SALTS in Basel, and at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Video: Direction and editing Ozhopé Collective, drone pilot Pedro S. Küster
Photos: Ozhopé Collective and Aurélien Haslebacher