Nicholas Calvin Mwakatobe
filmmaker / photographer / curator
Nicholas Calvin Mwakatobe is a filmmaker/photographer and a curator who is interested in stories and intersectionality; how history, geography, and interaction with each other define how we see ourselves, each other, and our relationship to the world around us.
He is a Video Consortium Fellow (2023), a recipient of a Civitella Ranieli Visual Art Fellowship in Italy (2019), and Apex Art Visual Art Fellowship in New York (2019). In 2020 he was selected to take part in a New York TimesPortfolio Review.
He co-curated a performative installation project, Vinyago: Dance beyond colonial biography (2018-2022), premiered at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin in December 2022. The project focused on the collection of the East African masks of the Ethnological Museum Berlin as a starting point into reflecting on the facts and implications of African Heritage at large being displaced in European Museums.
In 2018 he founded PichaTime (for which he is a curator), a platform interested in engaging the public in a critical reflection of convergency and power of stories, histories, and creative expressions in shaping our our identities and relationships with others and the world around us.
His photography work traces themes of representation (and conceptualization) of especially a black body, something that influence his approach in both personal as well as collaborative work. His work has been exhibited and screened locally and internationally at Nafasi Art Space, National Museum of Tanzania, Alliance Francaise Dar es Salaam, the Humbodt Forum in Berlin, and in Hamburg, Munich, Basel and NewYork. He worked in various project for UNICEF, European Union, Walt Disney's and National Geographic's Team Sayari Children program, Rhodes Island School of Design, The University of Dar es Salaam Fine and Performing Arts Department, M4ID for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as for local schools and festivals such Muda Africa, Sauti za Busara, and Dhow Countries Music Academy.
In addition to his own documentary film (Kama Wewe (2017), Crocodile in My Blood (2018)) his collaboration with local artists and filmmakers spans various roles in documentary, feature and short films including: a cinematographer for a documentary film Wahenga (2018), a colorist for feature film T-Junction (2017), a cinematographer for Ndio Ukubwa Film Anthology (2021). His collaboration with a poet Jenniffer Scappetone in on a short film “Populist Pastoral (In Smoke)” was published on OIKOST journal in 2021.
He lives ad works in Dar es Salaam Tanzania where he is an active participant of local art and film scene, such as Nafasi Film Club, and a frequent guest at the Nafasi Curatorial Academy as a facilitator/guest artists in classes and workshops.