Interviewing the shortlisted visual artists for the 2021 Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards tops the list of the most invigorating things I have done this year.
I have always considered visual art as a form of writing for the eyes. All the colours and textures tell a story in the same way that words do. The shortlisted artwork is breathtaking, hence my excitement to delve deeper into each artist’s process of creating their art, to understand what it means to them.
This shortlist is very versatile. “Chrysalis”, “Reach” and “Becoming Home” have very different subject matters and there is a different feeling one gets while looking at each of them.
Each artwork evokes feelings of renewal, longing, sadness and hope. But much more, creating these works and submitting them to the prize has been empowering for the artists and has been a way to deal with complex emotions. Having the courage to share these personal pieces and have them be shortlisted for a prize has validated their work as artists and encouraged them to create more.
The most exceptional thing about this prize and the shortlist is the opportunity given to Namibian artists to showcase their unique experiences through their artwork.
Conversations with the artists shortlisted for the category of visual art in the 2021 Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards will be shared here, at Africa in Dialogue, a day at a time, from the 21st to the 23rd of December 2021.
Below are the names of the shortlisted visual artists and the titles of their artwork:
Immanuel Natangwe Hafeni – Reach
Katherine Hunter – Becoming Home
Namafu Amutse – Chrysalis
Read more about the Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards, including the winners in each category, here.
Aisha Kabiru Mohammed is a law student at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Kaduna state is her home town. Aisha is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her pieces revolve around identity, feminism, and the African mind and body as political and spiritual entities. In 2019, Aisha won the inaugural Andrew Nok Poetry Prize, awarded by YELF. She later judged the 2020 edition of the prize. When she isn’t studying law and writing, you can find her drinking tea, reading, stroking cats and volunteering to spread mental health awareness and to end SGBV. Aisha currently hosts a podcast segment for Ayamba LitCast called Poet Box Series.