Samson Kambalu

Samson Kambalu

Art | Memoir

Samson Kambalu was born in 1975 in Malawi. He lives and works in Oxford where he is an Associate Professor of Fine Art and a lifelong fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford University.

Kambalu is an artist and writer working in a variety of media, including site-specific installation, video, performance and literature. His work is autobiographical and approaches art as an arena for critical thought and sovereign activities. It fuses aspects of the Nyau culture of the Chewa, the anti-reification theories of the Situationist movement and the Protestant tradition of inquiry, criticism and dissent.

Kambalu has won research fellowships with Yale University and the Smithsonian Institution. His work Antelope will appear on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth in 2022.

The Jive Talker: Or How to Get a British Passport

‘An African memoir unlike any other I have read … Filled with wonder, humour and hope. It is a magnificent achievement.’

Aminatta Forna, Sunday Telegraph

‘The charming and rare story of coming of age as an artist in Malawi.’

Daniel Bergner, author of Sing for your Life

‘Read Kambalu, cry, clap your hands.’

Iain Finlayson, The Times


‘A truly original book.’

Pride Magazine