A Creative Lesson in Sarah Waiswa

This incredible artist made a series of work called Stranger in a Familiar Land. In it she is contesting prejudices and preconceived expectations around what African Art should look like.

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Working specifically with the issue of persecution of albinos, Sarah uses an albino model. The model is positioned in poses reminiscent of fashion but in locations that are plucked straight out of an Oxfam campaign. The results are unsettling, in a good way, and thought provoking. It’s particularly great to see her skill recognised (she won the discovery award) and will have her work exhibited in a main exhibition at the festival next year.

“Stranger in Familiar Land” is a series that looks at the persecution of albinos in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Tanzania, for example, they are hunted for their body parts, which are believed to possess magical powers. People fear what they do not understand and, because of this fear, people with albinism continue to be at the receiving end of ridicule and persecution. This project groups together various portraits of an albino woman set against the backdrop of the Kibera slums, which are a metaphor for my turbulent vision of the outside world. The series illustrates the life of an albino who is forced to face challenges emanating from both the sun and society. The series also explores how the sense of non-belonging has led her to wander and exist in a dreamlike state.”

Sarah Waiswa

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Check out more of her work here:

www.sarahwaiswa.com

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