The role of the east Africa art biennale in the promotion of the visual arts in Tanzania

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The university of Dar es Salaam
The visual arts in the form of rock art have the longest history in Tanzania in that they have existed for over 40,000 years. The current visual arts such as drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and design are seen as the continuation of the practice that happened many years ago. The visual arts in Tanzania have received support before and after independence, but systematic patronage started after independence through non-governmental organizations as well as the government. The main purpose of this study was to find out the extent to which Tanzanian artists of the Dar es Salaam area have benefited from participating in the East Africa Art Biennale (EASTAFAB), a non-governmental organization, since 2003 to 2011. The objectives of the study were to find out if the objectives of EASTAFAB have been achieved, if artists have achieved publicity outside Tanzania and whether artists’ expectations have been met through participating in the EASTAFAB. The study was conducted in Dar es Salaam city, where most contemporary artists have participated in the EASTAFAB. Research instruments used to collect the data were interviews, observation, and the questionnaire. Purposive sampling was done by selecting the artists who have participated in the EASTAFAB since its establishment in 2003 to 2011. The study has found out that, the EASTAFAB has achieved it’s the objectives, concerning publicity beyond national borders. Artists’ expectations have been attained through overseas and local exhibitions. Workshops were held to raise artists’ standards and evidence of improvement through participating in the Biennales has been found out on the part of three artists namely Phidelice Gervacy, Salum Kambi and Thobias Minzi.
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Visual arts, East Africa art biennale, Africa
Haruna, S.(2012). The role of the east Africa art biennale in the promotion of the visual arts in Tanzania. Master dissertation, university of Dar es Salaam. Available at (