Tanatsei Gambura (she/they) is a post-disciplinary artist and cultural practitioner working transnationally.
In both artistic and curatorial capacities, her work is foregrounded by creating socially engaged experiences that centre rest and nourishment whilst inventively exploring the dimensions of justice, joy, and care. Underpinning this is an ethos of activating the radical in public spaces whilst engaging somatic or sensuous ways of knowing. Describing her practice as ancestral, Tanatsei petitions her familial and artistic predecessors, invoking lineages, archives, and intertextuality in her work.
Tanatsei is the author of Things I Have Forgotten Before, the poetry pamphlet announced by Poetry Book Society as autumn choice of 2021. Like this, her work emerges primarily through conceptual literary and text-based media, as well as participatory forms: facilitation and cultural programming in communal contexts. With indigeneity driving her practice, she draws from personal experience, contemplating issues of land, place, and culture-making in racialised locales. She is a geographer and historian interested in paragogical methods of knowledge production and taking a research-based approach to her work.
In 2020, she was announced as the runner-up to the inaugural Amsterdam Open Book Prize (Versal Journal) and was longlisted by the Rebecca Swift Foundation for the Women Poets’ Prize. Her work has appeared in Poetry London, Prufrock Magazine, and New Coin Poetry Journal, among others. She is an alumnus of the British Council residency, “These Images are Stories” and is an inaugural fellow of the Obsidian Foundation. She has worked with groups including Enthuse Afrika, the Fruitmarket Gallery, and Take One Action Film Festivals.
Tanatsei’s work transcends political borders and national contexts. She is an alumnus of the African Leadership Academy (South Africa) where she was awarded the Patrice Lumumba Award for Pan-Africanism in 2018. In 2019, she became a recipient of the Diana Award for The 25 May Movement (2016-2020) a work exploring culture and collaborative practice as the first point of decolonial strategy. Her mission is to co-create the experiences and frameworks, intra and extra-institutional, that will contribute to the realisation of a radically different future.
Currently, Tanatsei is based in Edinburgh where, in her role as Programme Producer at Africa in Motion, she is exploring the socio-cultural and geopolitical significance of African filmmaking and film-watching.