Developed in partnership between Ugandan-based gallery Afriart and The Africa Centre, Tanzanian artist Sungi Mlengeya’s debut London solo show (Un)choreographed pays homage to the vivid history of dance and the myriad of ways that dance creates liberation for women across Africa and its Diaspora.
Curated by Tammi Bello and Jessica Lowe-Mbirimi, Mlengeya’s exhibition unveils 8 striking large-scale paintings that radiate energy and celebrate the agency and power of their Black women subjects. (Un)choreographed reflects the artist’s recent interest in immersing herself in her abundant culture as a journey of discovery. Through Dance, Mlengeya explores larger social themes of female empowerment, specifically that of Black women.
“Growing up I listened to Lingala music and later I familiarised myself with the shoulder-shaking dances from my mother’s tribe the Nyisanzu from Singida. These dance movements, among many others, have always fueled freedom and joy within me and within many around me, including those in the paintings. Regardless of their journeys, struggles, accomplishments, and relationships I became inspired to give them the focus they deserve by depicting them in a way where they are detached from restrictive norms or settings that hinder them from pursuing their true desires and being their true selves. Dance encapsulates my view of the world.”