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Elson Kambalu


Elson Kambalu is an artist based in Lilongwe, increasingly drawn to conceptual and participatory work. He is interested in listening to and sharing people's stories and creating works that stimulate debate.

While in residence, Elson explored both traditional and contemporary approaches to medicine and research. He interacted with a wide variety of people in urban and rural settings - from clinicians and traditional herbalists to study participants and tribal chiefs, from community workers and pharmacologists to health economists and musicians.

Fascinated by the cultural complexities between research teams and the communities they serve, Elson invited people to create work inspired by their understandings and experiences of health studies. These projects allowed participants to express and discuss their views regarding research. His own work also reflects on "Kafukufuku'" the Chichewa word for "research", and the different opinions people have on what Kafukufuku is and why it is carried out.

Research centre: Malawi- Liverpool- Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Blantyre, Malawi