My mother bought me my first diary when I was in grade 3 and in the motion of clichés, it was my keeper of secrets. I found companionship in writing, it was my opening encounter with the ritual of creating.
I kept on journaling [somewhat] consistently throughout all the years of discovery and disaster because words and writing help me process life; the validity of my emotion, history, memory and experience were never questioned but rather translated through the making. My words are the most important thing I own.
My works at the core are extended and fleshed out journal entries that metamorphosed into form. The voice and tone ranging from a playful grade 3 foreigner; an identity anxious teenager, a 24-year-old activist and a slightly paranoid maker unsettling into adulthood and the realities of living within the constraints of body and place.
Valerie Asiimwe Amani is a Tanzanian interdisciplinary artist and writer.
Her practice interrogates the ways in which body erotics, language, place and the metaphysical are used to situate (or isolate) the self in and out of community. She has exhibited internationally including group shows in Lagos, Paris, Cape Town and Leipzig with recent shows being a solo performance at South London Gallery in collaboration with the Roberts Institute of Art as well as a solo exhibition at Alliance Française, Dar es Salaam.
Amani holds a MFA from The Ruskin School of Art and is the recipient of the 2021 Ashmolean Museum Vivien Leigh Prize for a work on paper and was shortlisted for the 2022 Dentons Award and Ingram Prize. She has been featured in Art Monthly, Hyperallergic, BBC and The Architectural Review amongst others.
Amani has given various talks on Art and Activism including SOAS, University of London with The Royal African society. She is also an art writer focusing on emerging African artists, on Emergent Art Space.