Gladys Melina Kalichini is a visual artist and researcher from Lusaka, Zambia. She is at present an MFA candidate at Rhodes University in South Africa and a member of the SARCHI research group- Geopolitics of Africa.
Her studio practice and research focuses on three main categories, namely; Colonial History, Memory and Marginalisation. She works with notions of narratives of women by drawing on the relationships pertaining to and between these three broad categories.
The bodies of work she produces usually manifest into two-dimensional artworks (ranging from drawings, painting, and photography) and installations.
Currently, her work explores the representations of the ‘female black body’ in history by examining absent and misplaced narratives of women in African histories. 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 marginalized from certain historicized events.
She uses the traces of the history of Alice Lenshina (b. 1920 – d. 1978) and Julia Chikamoneka (b.1910 – 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 they fade and disappear.
Gladys is off to the United States to take up residency at The Fountainhead Residency in Miami Florida.