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 (b.1991, Dar es Salaam) is a Tanzanian artist and writer whose multidisciplinary explorations of artistic mediums, interrogates the daily translation of body erotics, language, place and memory. Working primarily with moving image, textile, digital collage and text, her works are intuitive interventions that aim to create bridges between the physical and spiritual. Exhibitions include The Main Complaint, at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art, Cape Town; Terrains of Possibility at Rele Gallery, Lagos and Boda Boda Lounge at City SALTS, Basel. She 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.
Amani is an Economics and Fashion graduate, and recently acquired her MFA at The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University. She is the recipient of the 2021 Vivien Leigh Prize for a work on paper, which led to the acquisition of the piece by The Ashmolean Museum. She has been shortlisted for the 2022 Henrike Grohs Award as well as the Dentons Art Prize (2022).