November 19, 2018

Artists Camille Walala and Julia Jomaa Create Memphis-Inspired Murals in Tanzania

Muralists Julia Jomaa and Camille Walala stand with program beneficiaries before their pro-bono artwork at the Umoja Training Centre in Tanzania, the local headquarters for Standing Voice, an albino-focused NGO. Photography by Harry Freeland.

Her largest mural emblazons a seven-story facade in Brooklyn, New York. That’s Camille Walala’s much-Instagrammed commission, which debuted during NYC x Design last May. The next month, she took off for a far more rural locale—and with charity in mind.

Walala’s limited-edition digital print, which helped raise nearly $6,000 for the organization. Photography by Harry Freeland.

She and long-time collaborator Julia Jomaa injected their signature Memphis-inspired patterns and palette onto the Umoja Training Centre on Ukerewe, a Tanzanian island with a large population of people with albinism. After filming his documentary on the topic, In the Shadow of the Sun, there, Harry Freeland founded the NGO Standing Voice. Through clinical networks, advocacy groups, and relocation services the organization supports African people with albinism, who have been marginalized and threatened throughout the continent.

The center’s library, with built-ins by designer Simon Sawyer. Photography by Harry Freeland.

Now, with the center — the organization’s local headquarters — they can take workshops to learn professional skills and safely interact with other members of the community. And they’re doing it surrounded by Walala’s cheerful aesthetic, which she says is inspired, fittingly, by the Ndebele, a South African tribe. Water tanks and the library got painted with stripes in bright orange, blue, and yellow, and series of circles painted half white and half black appear throughout the project. The latter symbolize the joining of those with albinism to those without. Umoja, by the way, is Swahili for unity.

A painted concrete water tank. Photography by Harry Freeland.

> See more from the October 2018 issue of Interior Design

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