The work explores the power of sharing memories as a way of subverting erasure, forgetfulness and amnesia. First shown as one of the three installations in the exhibition »... these gestures of memory« (Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 2020), it is the beginning of an ongoing and broader project on the topic.
It involves Gladys Kalichinis participation in and documentation of women participating in various cultural and religious activities. The earlier videos are recordings of women washing their hands and feet while a gospel hymn plays in the background. The hymn is by Catholic women in Zambia and is titled 'ulemu kumwamba' which can loosely be translated to English as 'to pay respect to the heavens'.
Gladys Kalichini is a contemporary visual artist and researcher from Lusaka, Zambia. Her work centres around notions of erasure, memory, and representations and visibilities of women in colonial resistance histories.
Gladys is currently a PhD candidate at Rhodes University in South Africa and a member of the Arts of Africa and Global Souths research programme, supported by the Andrew. W. Mellon Foundation and the National Research Fund.
She has participated in Àsìkò International Art Programme in Maputo, Mozambique in 2015 and the second iteration of the “Women On Aeroplanes” project in Lagos, Nigeria in 2018 themed “Search Research: Looking for Collete Omogbai”. Selected residencies that she has participated in include the Fountainhead Residency in Miami, the USA in 2017, Künstlerhaus Bethanien international studio programme in Berlin, Germany in 2019/2020, supported by the KFW – Stiftung and the Dekoloniale residency programme also in Berlin.