The Ozhomobile

The Ozhomobile is a term we coined by combining the words “Ozhope” and “automobile”. It describes a truck fitted with a billboard we use to showcase our art to the masses in the city streets of Lilongwe. Rather than restrict our work to the privileged gallery goers and those who have access to the internet, we strive to situate our work in everyday life for interactions and conversations with the poor. This is a form of poetics and ethics of “disenclosure”. It transgresses spatial, epistemological, and disciplinary boundaries- between the gallery and the street, fine art and advertising, art and activism. The discussions with the people on the streets who encounter the work are nourishing and transformative. The topics have ranged from the aesthetic to the ethical, tackling issues of corruption, greed, and mediocrity among the elite. The ozhomobile is defined by what we call a namlondora aesthetics. The namlondora is a big stick that old witchdoctors used to catch thieves and other offenders. If your house got robbed in the night, by morning the namlondora would follow the thief to his doorstep. In Chichewa, namlondora means “the one who follows.” The term speaks to accountability. Due to its mobility, the Ozhomobile gives our art the magic and potency of namlondora.

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