In Nyasaland / Analysand (at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg until April 13), Malawian artist and scholar Samson Kambalu explores the happy accident of a playful but also potentially profound anagram. The terminology in the exhibition’s title may not be familiar, so a few words of explanation are necessary. Nyasaland was the British “Protectorate” — to use a well-worn euphemism of late stage colonialism — that became Malawi in 1964. The word thus refers to geographical terrain, but also to a torrid history. Like regional neighbour Rhodesia (and much of Africa), it was chewed up by Britain in the late 19th century . Many decades later, independence brought a different form of oppression: Zimbabwe had Robert Mugabe, Malawi had Hastings Banda. Analysand is a medical term referring to a person undergoing psychoanalysis. To a limited extent, the artist is the analysand in this process. Kambalu returns to childhood memories: he recalls the common playground practice of swapping cards,...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.