Alex Mawimbi

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Alex Mawimbi
Born1981 (age 37–38)

Alex Mawimbi, formerly known as Ato Malinda,[2][3][4] is a multidisciplinary performance artist born in Kenya and formerly based in Rotterdam.[5]

Early life and career[edit]

Alex Mawimbi was born Ato Malinda in 1981[6] in Kenya. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Transart Institute in New York.[7]

Her work explores the facets of African identity and authenticity in mediums including performance, drawing and painting, installation, ceramics, and video. She also focuses on gender and female sexuality, especially the stories of LGBTQ communities, and Western museum monolithic representation of Africa.[7]

At the 2010 SUD triennial in Douala, Cameroon, Mawimbi performed a piece on the myth of the water goddess Mami Wata. The goddess, whose myth originates just prior to the rise of colonialism, is said to simultaneously give bountiful wealth to and take the lives of her lovers. Mawimbi presents Mami Wata in the form of water energy rather than as a mermaid, and performed the myth in the mangroves of the Douala's Wouri River. The performance was both observed and recorded.[8]

In 2016, she was an awardee at the National Museum of African Art's first African Art Awards[9][10] and highlighted by The Wall Street Journal as an emerging artist.[6]

She is based in Hull.

Selected exhibitions[edit]


  • The Armory Show, Circle Art Gallery Booth, 2016[7]
  • Kalao Panafrican Creations, Bilbao, "An Exploration of Self: Her Mirror", 2013[7]
  • Dans Mon Brun, Doual'art, 2009[7]



  1. ^ Alex Mawimbi
  2. ^ Kassam, Zihan (July 5, 2017). "Kenya: there's a new artist community forming in Kitengela". Conceptual Fine Arts. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  3. ^ Ferrand, Mylène (July 8, 2017). "The Origins of Feminist Intersectionality". C&. ContemporaryAnd. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  4. ^ Levati, Luca (June 27, 2017). "'Africa, Raccontare un mondo' in mostra al Pac" (in Italian). Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  5. ^ Sesay, Nadia (October 28, 2016). "A Conversation with Ato Malinda and Yinka Shonibare MBE on Exploring Identity in 'African Art'". Okay Africa. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Crow, Kelly (May 11, 2016). "5 Artists to Watch". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on March 6, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Alex Mawimbi". Contemporary And. Archived from the original on August 17, 2017. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  8. ^ Pinther, Kerstin; Fischer, Berit; Nzewi, Ugochukwu-Smooth C., eds. (2015). New Spaces for Negotiating Art (and) Histories in Africa. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 124. ISBN 978-3-643-90626-7. Archived from the original on March 26, 2018.
  9. ^ McGlone, Peggy (October 27, 2016). "At 80, Johnnetta Cole reflects on her career and the controversial Cosby exhibition". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on March 22, 2017.
  10. ^ "Inaugural African Art Awards go to Yinka Shonibare MBE, Ato Malinda and the Ford Foundation". ContemporaryAnd. October 31, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2019.

General references[edit]

External links[edit]