DAK’ART 2014

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain 09/05>08/06

Milumbe Haimbe

English
français

Ananiya the Revolutionist : 15 digital illustrations, 30x40cm each, 2013, courtesy of the artist.

Milumbe Haimbe applies a background of painting to her newer work, digital illustration. The medium is fitting to Haimbe’s interest in popular media. Specifically, she is concerned with the representation of cultural minorities within the sphere of popular media. The protagonist of the sequential artwork in the form of a graphic novel is Ananiya, a seventeen year-old black female who works as an agent in the Covert Operations Division of the resistance movement. The resistance group calls itself the “Army for the Restoration of Womanhood” and fights against the corporate government that has introduced sex robots capable of replacing the need for female humans. Although Ananiya the Revolutionist is set in the (near) future, it undermines current “cultural gaps” such as stereotyped and over-sexualized women, lack of diversity in popular media, and questions of sexuality. Haimbe’s work is a direct response to the lack of leading female heroes, especially black females, in popular media. It contends with preconceived notions of what a woman “should” look like and includes supporting characters of diverse ethnicities. The heroine Ananiya begins to have feelings of affection towards one of the female robots, complicating her function within the resistance movement. This makes clear the struggle between internal and external conflicts. Ananiya grapples with social conformity by being a part of the “Army for the Restoration of Womanhood”, but she must also confront her own emotions when they do not match with the social expectations of this resistance group.

Milumbe Haimbe was born in Lusaka, Zambia in 1974. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture attained from the Copperbelt University, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts obtained from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts in Norway. Milumbe is interested in the idea of the collective psyche, its associated social trajectories and current psycho-socio trends and systems. Drawing on a background of painting, her current art practices are based in digital illustration, including sequential art as an intermedial process that combines and integrates illustrations and written texts into narratives. Milumbe asserts that these intermedial concerns are related to intercultural issues, with a focus on the forms of representation of cultural minorities within the context of popular media. She has exhibited her work in numerous shows both locally and internationally, including FOCUS 10 – Art Basel in Switzerland, and is an alumnus of the Art Omi International Artist’s Residency in New York.

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