Warm Hearts Cultural Exchange

As you know the application for funding for a cultural exchange trip is ongoing between artists in Scotland and artists in Malawi, who have exhibited together in the gallery space, Seventeen, in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Ubuntu ” “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity” Artist: Cara Thomson, Aberdeen using Malawian Wax Fabrics

Whats it all about?

The aims of the project are:

  • to promote knowledge sharing
  • enhance cultural understanding
  • promote collaboration and combine artist’s skills to make unique and individual works of art

Scottish based artists would travel to Malawi to collaborate with the local artists of Chembe, a lakeside village on the shores of Lake Malawi. The aims of the project would be achieved through workshops in Chembe with local artists, and youth groups resulting in the painting of murals in local community sites, as well as the visiting artists learning from and collaborating with the skilled artisans in the village, skills such as painting, carving, sewing, paper making, frame making, and more as well as photographing and filming the trip, culminating in an international exhibition in Aberdeen as well as talks with local educational institutions on the cultural exchange.

This project is awesome and unique in its own ways. It will be the first large scale project to ever happen in sub Saharan Africa where parts of a Malawian village will be painted by really cool artists from Scotland and Malawi with the help of GAIA (Baltimore) and WiseTwo (Kenya). It would embody all the elements of an open sky museum similar to the project that WiseTwo was part of in Djerba, Tunisia www.djerbahood.com as well as facilitating cultural exchanges and skill sharing between artists.


Scotland and Malawi have strong links, ever since David Livingstone arrived in 1859 to a warm welcome, and this has resulted in a 156 year old friendship between the two countries.

A national civil network coordinating, supporting and representing people-to-people links has been created Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP). They represent a community of 94,000 Scots and 198,000 Malawians. Their aims are to build connections and collaboration on a multi-sectoral basis between two small nations in ways that are transformational for both.

Aberdeen  has strong links with Malawi and the SMP roadtrip was held at Aberdeen University this year. Many Aberdonian groups with links to Malawi spoke detailing inspirational cultural connections and how by working together individuals had enriched their life view, taught them new skills in their practices and made lifelong friendships.

Aberdeen Uni - SMP




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The accommodation for artists travelling to the locale which has been sourced is a not for profit lodge Tuckaways directly on the shore of Lake Malawi, the profits from the lodge go directly back into the local village projects, eg. Water / Hunger Relief / Anti- Malarial projects. Trips can be arranged by the locals of Chembe, who run the lodge, to see these projects in action and the difference they make to the community.


Approximate Time Frame:

Flights: From Scotland to Lilongwe

Cars From : Lilongwe to Cape Maclear  (3.5 hour drive approx.)

Duration of whole trip including the time in Chembe
(Approx. 16 Days)

Artists can stay longer if they wish but this would not be funded.

About Malawi

Malawi is on record as being one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy is based heavily on agriculture and approximately 74% of the population still lives below the poverty line of US $1.25 per day. While only 10% of the population has access to electricity. 1.7 million people have no access to safe water.

Malawi is known as the warm heart of Africa and the warmth and friendliness of the people shines. Art is everywhere in Malawi and the quality of the workmanship speaks volumes.


About Cape Maclear

Many of you will already be aware of the work of the artists in Cape Maclear – there is a rich history of excellent craftsmanship in the village – and a lot of this knowledge is passed down generation to generation not through formalised teaching as such. You would meet with Jefferson Gulo who runs Paper of the People – a local project recycling waste into beautiful artwork. As well as both James Kalosi – a wood carver who made the piece for the sun parasol handle as well as Billy Bwanili a tailor who made the fabric for the brolly. There are many more artists in the village to meet and learn from and the locals can faciliate workshops and artistic exchanges as translators will be arranged.


Collaboration With International Graffiti Artist

The world renowned graffiti artist Wise Two – who resides in Kenya, and has extensive knowledge of transferring paints across Africa has confirmed interest in joining the collective for the paint.

Workshops with Youth Groups in The Village

For the artists who have had experience in teaching, we would aim to do a workshop with children in Chembe. Money has been factored for venues which would again go into the projects in the village so the local community benefits both from the cross cultural exchange, the artistic workshops and funding going to the projects in the village. Paper used would come from the Paper of the People project.

Cape Maclear Kids.jpg

Walls Sourced Both External and Internal

Various walls have been sourced and these include walls at Tuckaways, a local Community Learning Centre and Primary School.



Exhibition in Scotland

The art , photography, and the films etc you that the artists have created would be brought back to culminate in an art exhibition in Aberdeen. Thus allowing the public of Scotland to view and watch and learn more about the cultural exchange. Art could be sold to ensure this goes back in the organisation for further projects that create social impact through art and benefit communities throughout the globe.

We hope that this would ensure Scotland’s commitment to the UN’s 5’Ps of Sustainable Development

#people # peace # partnership #planet # prosperity

Again the venue sourced is Home Comforts – which is a Social Enterprise so costs for hire will go back into the local community in Aberdeen.

Scheduled for March 2017

What it means to the Chembe Community

Raymond Victor – resident of Cape Maclear and throwupgallery champion, pictured here absorbing the good vibes in Chembe.

Raymond - Sun


“The coming of the throwupgallery will mean a lot to the guys in Cape Maclear and Malawi as whole in many ways like exchanging of the skills , beautifying the community,improving the image of the art to the young ones and building a strong relationship between them as artist

The guys from throwupgallery will bring their idea or their culture that will share with the guys in Cape and same as the guys in Cape will have theirs too and will be skill exchanging to each other means of benefiting among them .

In terms of beautifying the community the coming of throwupgallery will change the looks of the parts of the village with their art work, will take place by the time they will be here on those wall, that has no paint work on it and even at those primarily School walls
And by so doing you will develop a voluntarism heart among the Cape artist in our village since the throwupgallery guys will do the same

And the image of the art will change among the kids and upcoming young one who want to be artist in various activity after seeing you guys here and they will feel that art it’s good thing.

As the art is taking place of the people of different place at Malawi and people of Scotland ,the relationship is established among them and people starts to understand one another and it’s happening because of the art between the throwupgallery guys and the artist of Cape Maclear

Just mentioning a few things for the meaning of the coming of throwupgallery to the Malawi, the guys will enjoy by sharing skills and many more .”