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Gladys Melina Kalichini is a contemporary visual artist and researcher from Lusaka, Zambia. She is at present a PhD candidate at Rhodes University in South Africa and a member of the NRF/DST SARChI Chair Geopolitics and the Arts of Africa, Arts of Africa and Global Souths research programme. Her research focuses on three main broad topics, namely Marginalisation, Colonial historic figures/individuals and Memory.

Her MFA research, submitted in 2017, analyses “the marginalisation of narratives about women, absent and misplaced from collective memory”, by exploring the representations of death and dead bodies. She draws from given/specific/singular narratives about women that are held in the collective memory of histories as an entry point to the broader discussion of narratives of women marginalised from certain historicised events. She uses the traces in history of Alice Lenshina (b. 1920 – d. 1978) and Julia Chikamoneka (b. 1910 – d. 1986) as held in Zambia’s collective memory (through commemorative gestures and the archive) to show that women’s historical narratives are not fixed at any point in time, they are rather continuously in flux, either changing to become alternative representations of themselves or fading and disappearing.

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Kalichini’s work manifests largely in two-dimensional mediums including painting, digital work and installations.

Kalichini graduated from the University of Zambia in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Demography. In 2010 and 2012 she was awarded the Julia Malunga award (named after one of Zambia’s female pioneer artists) under the Zambian Ngma awards for upcoming female artists. She has participated in residencies with the Art Academy Without Walls (AAWW, Lusaka, Zambia) 2008 -2012, and the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA, Lagos) under the Asiko International Art Programme 2015, themed The History of Contemporary Art in Maputo in 4 weeks, culminating in the exhibition “28 days”, and The Fountainhead Residency in Miami in 2017. 

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