Valerie Amani | Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
If I could sum up my understanding of people and consequently art, it would be this:
“come closer, I have something to tell you.”
Most of us go through life trying to connect with the world around us, trying to understand it. We look for someone or something we can share ourselves with; share our anguishes, victories, and nasty nasty secrets with. Similar to a work of art, people at a first glance are just a canvas that will either open up and tell you everything, or remain unknown, saying nothing at all. Somehow, in this space of unfolding and discovery, I found myself trying to dismantle barriers and share secrets through the things I create.
Emotion is at the core of my art, because it is at the core of who I am. Followed by curiosity, followed by copious amounts of suspicion. I aim to create pieces that conversate with their viewers - make them feel and hopefully urge them ask questions about their own reality.
In a world drowned out by over-stimulation, I found my gentle pause through creating. Through challenging myself to learn, unlearn, understand and explore - I challenge myself to translate these moments of discovery into something I am able to share with others.
I wish i had the courage to say that I am an artist, but really I feel like a translator learning how to be an artist. Translating my reflections on freedom, love, Neo-colonialism and identity into text, cloth and image - hoping that by transcending speech, I create a space for dialogue that is familiar yet new.
The Tanzanian art scene and the Graffiti crew ‘Wachata’
'Rise of the African Female Artist: Exploring Spaces and Dialogue'
Valerie's experience in the ColabNowNow 2018 Residency
Valerie's exploration into the Rise of the African Female Artist
Dar es Salaam’s Nafasi Academy
Valerie’s insights about ‘Calling Across the Distance’ online exhibition
Valerie’s art school experience during a pandemic