Previously known as The Studio Stool, Zambia Belonging is an initiative by Everyday Lusaka that exists as an online counter-archive – one that functions to show, to make accessible and to understand oneself by un-archiving objects of belonging in our homes.
Starting with photographs, Zambia Belonging intends to explore the possibilities around how images can build a sense of identity and belonging – not just to Zambia but to oneself and ones heritage and family. To achieve this, Zambia Belonging collects, digitises and shares images with narratives from willing contributors across Zambia and the diaspora.
Zambia Belonging is led by Sana Ginwalla, founder of Everyday Lusaka. She has partnered with authors of Vintage Addis Ababa, Wongel Abate and Philipp Schütz to realize this project. Over the next few months, the Zambia Belonging website will develop as a research repository which will allow viewers to consider everyday narratives that are often left out of history books.
Furthermore, by using social media as a tool for visual and self-governed storytelling, the project is focused on garnering an interest around photographs from the past and considering the value and contexts attached to them. Doing so will enable stories from Zambia to contribute and build on the growing trend of local stories and art from the global south that challenge the single-story narrative.
By the end of the year, Zambia Belonging will host a pop-up exhibition in Lusaka to showcase and celebrate the project findings in a way that evokes a sense that the images are not the consequence of this project, but where everything begins.
Sana Ginwalla – Founder, Project-manager, archivist
Interested in politics of identity, home and belonging, Sana Ginwalla is a Zambia-born photographer, curator and writer. Her photographic and written work produced in and about Zambia has consistently focused on shifting the lens and showcasing the overlooked and relatable everyday moments of the past and present.
Wongel Abate – Consultant, co-manager, archivist
Wongel Abate is a journalist who was born and raised in Ethiopia. As a thinker, passionate about the transformation of Africa, she leads conversations in various initiatives to mobilize young people across the continent. She is currently based in Lusaka, Zambia.
Philipp Schütz – Consultant
Philipp Schütz is a producer, curator and photographer from Switzerland. He spent eight years in Ethiopia and currently lives in London where he is pursing his MA in Creative and Cultural Industries at SOAS. He takes on design, production and consulting work from commercial clients and cultural institutions.
The images included here were found and collected in 2018 by Sana Ginwalla at Fine Art Studios in Lusaka, Zambia. While the identity of the photographers, owners or date is not yet known, part of the Zambia Belonging’s intention is to repatriate the images as the project builds its audience.