Row: a thinkivist art intervention*

  • Massa Lemu Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Emmanuel Ngwira University of Malawi and Stellenbosch University


Row art project by Ozhopé collective consists of performances and temporary sculptures with dugout canoes used by fishers on the shores of Lake Malawi. The sculptures and performances feature the ephemeral, play, bricolage, and site-specificity to engage the lake as a space for contesting extractivism, and for dealing with issues of the ecosystem. Using the lens of racial capitalocene, Row plays with the ongoing wrangles around Lake Malawi, fuelled by the spectre of oil speculation on the lake. Through temporary sculptures the work seeks to read the dugout canoe as text by focusing on the sedimentation of paint, tin, plastic and tar on the canoe’s body as traces of the histories of its transformation. The dugout canoe is considered an artefact of contemporaneity on which can be read narratives of biography, aid, trade, and capitalist extractivism and the ecosystem. Besides racial capitalocene, thinkivism and biopolitical collectivism underpin Ozhopé’s subject-centred, collaborative production.

Mar 19, 2019
How to Cite
Lemu, M., & Ngwira, E. (2019). Row: a thinkivist art intervention*. Nordia Geographical Publications, 47(5), 39-54. Retrieved from