Rehema Chachage, Tanzanian b. 1987
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Rehema Chachage’s practice is concerned with the processes retelling and preserving what feminist scholars and activists have coined as (her)stories; using life histories of women and circumstances shaping their trajectories. She draws from from (and is informed by) the rich oral storytelling traditions of Tanzania and the power that this practice has had in establishing and maintaining a collective narrative on a diverse historical phenomenon. The oral storytelling tradition is mostly preserved by women and handed down across generations through stories, lullabies, performances, songs and dance—some of which form part of the gradually diminishing rites of passage. Actively interacting with the performative processes of archiving, as well as the performativity of the archive; Chachage works alongside my mother, with whom she is in a constant intergenerational dialogu. Through performative elements, the studio and the body of work that emerges from it, becomes a collaborative space and an act of reflection. Theirs is a performative ‘archive’ that untraditionally ‘collects’ and ‘organizes’ stories, rituals and other oral traditions, in different media; performance, photography, video, text as well as physical installations.
Chachage has a BA in Fine Art (2009) from Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town; and an MA Contemporary Art Theory (2018) from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is currently undertaking doctoral studies at the Academy of Fine Art Vienna.