Visiting Artist's Talk - Samson Kambalu

For this week's Visiting Artist’s Talk, we welcome artist Samson Kambalu.

Oxford-based artist and writer Samson Kambalu (b. 1975 Chiradzulu, Malawi), studied at the University of Malawi (BA Fine Art and Ethnomusicology, 1995–99); Nottingham Trent University (MA Fine Art, 2002–03) and Chelsea College of Art and Design (PhD, 2011–15).

Kambalu works in a variety of media, including site-specific installation, video, performance and literature. His work is autobiographical and approaches art as an arena for critical thought and sovereign activities. His basic influences are Situationism, the Nyau prestation social structures of his native Malawi and the Protestant tradition of inquiry, criticism and dissent.

Kambalu authored the first memoir of a childhood in Malawi, The Jive Talker (2008), and his artworks have been exhibited around the world, including Dakar Biennale (2014, 2016), Tokyo International Art Festival (2009) and the Liverpool Biennial (2004, 2016), and featured in All the World’s Futures, Venice Biennale 2015, curated by Okwui Enwezor. With solo exhibitions at PEER Gallery, London, and Mu.ZEE, Ostend, Belgium in 2020; Whitechapel Gallery, London; NSU Art Museum, Miami in 2016 and Modern Art Oxford in 2021.

Kambalu’s work is in the national art collections of Tate, the British Council, and the Contemporary Art Society, and his research fellowships include Yale University and the Smithsonian Institution. Kambalu is an associate professor of fine art at The Ruskin School of Art and a fellow at Magdalen College, University of Oxford.

The Visiting Artists' Talks (VAT) series for 2021/22 takes place live via Zoom every Monday afternoon during teaching weeks.

Each session brings an arts professional to talk with us about what they do and why, and to chat with the student body honestly about their career journey and interests.

All our talks are compulsory for our Fine Art students but are open to anyone else who would like to join us.

Event link

The event will be hosted on Zoom.

For further information about the VAT series, please email Gill Park.


Samson Kambalu, New Liberia, installation view at Modern Art Oxford, 2021. Photo by Mark Blower.