Tuning-In: Other Ways of Seeing is a year-long informal arts education programme by Livingstone Office for Contemporary Art (LoCA) that focuses on collaborative learning/teaching through intensive workshops, research groups and screenings. The programme is divided into four Mini-Labs, each being four weeks long, with additional online presentations, talks and discussions. Participants are selected via an open call, and work together with a range of established practitioners to explore practices, critical thinking and experimentation on new ways to reflect on decoloniality.
Founded in 2014, LoCA is an artist-initiated non-profit library and research centre based in Livingstone, Zambia. It functions as a collaborative platform for reflection and as an experimental think-tank, exploring histories (colonial, social and political histories and their legacies) and how they relate to language and contemporary art in both a local, and an international context.
The Tuning-In Mini-Lab is an effort to help artists grow their practice. The Mini-Lab focuses on criticality in art production, the need to build on well-researched themes and understanding of aesthetics in a well-articulated way. The workshops are designed to help participants deconstruct old paradigms driving the representation of artwork, while borrowing from indigenous methodologies. Some segments will focus on non-traditional art-making approaches and curatorial strategies to help participants realise and achieve their unique visions. The Mini-Lab prioritises experimentation over conventional approaches to art-making and curatorial enquiry, and encourages participants to work with ideas and projects for long-term development and implementation.
The benefits of the programme for participants include receiving one-on-one portfolio reviews and feedback about their work, development of writing skills for artists, curators, and writers, cultivating new creative thinking by integrating new elements into their work like performance, installation, and sound projects, as well as networking opportunities.
The LoCA Mini-Lab was established in 2019 and occurs twice a year. In the first edition, participants produced a podcast series that discussed how to “tune into” art on multiple layers, while the 2020 edition had its participants host two exhibitions with de-coloniality themes.
The participants for the third edition of the Tuning-In Mini-Lab are Harrieth Kwetukia (Tanzania), Jonathan Sakala (Zambia), Judit Pla Cano (Spain), Marita Banda (Zambia), Mihayo Kallaye (Tanzania), Nondo Chansa (Zambia), Serah Chibombwe (Zambia), Shiija B. Masele (Tanzania), Sunga Mwila (Zambia), Visule Kabunda (Zambia/South Africa) and Yande Yombwe (Zambia).
The Mini-Lab advisors for 2021-2022 are Anawana Haloba, David Chirwa, Donna Kukama, Jimmy Ogonga, Michael O’Donnel, Mwamba Mulangala, Romeo Gongora, Rehema Chachage and Zasha Colah. The guest artist/curators are Yonamine Miguel Fernandes and Gladys Kalichini.