The Faraja Women’s Society

Faraja women groupspacerpouring plaster

The Faraja Women’s Society of Matemwa is a group of 19 women and some members have come to all 7 print workshops during our 7 week stay. Tamani School in Matemwa has hosted most of the workshops.

removing bubblesspacerlooking at printspacerplaster plates

Matemwe village 2spacerpeople on the beach

We are leaving in a few days so it’s quiet a busy time finishing off projects.

spacercutting large monoprint 2spacerlarge plaster

cutting large plaster print 2spacerlarge plaster print

The large plaster cast has been drying out for at least 3 weeks and is perfect for women to use so we decide to have a goodbye party in the Panga Chumvi reception area and at the same time we could finish off some printmaking. Everyone has dressed up for the party. Marj from the UK who has been organising new recipes in the kitchen at Panga Chumvi has made a cake. The Faraja group have brought a gift of two lovely baskets for me as a thank you. The baskets are very beautiful and skillfully made. I will treasure them back in the rain of the UK.

basketspacerpalm fronspacerMarg

I hope that the local newspaper can supply the women with some more black ink as we have used quiet a lot of the 1kg tin that Calico Inks donated to the project. We were unable to develop a process for making their own printing ink due to lack of time. I wish I had had 6 months to help the women find a market for their skills and to experiment more with the materials that are available.

All the materials in the UK that I take for granted are so difficult to find here. Its been wonderful and I have learnt loads. We are leaving the printing rollers and cutting tools with Tamani School for the Faraja women to use. We are also leaving a roller cutting tools and ink with Hamad at the cultural arts center in Stone Town as they seemed the most likely group to make use of them when we leave.


We would like to say a big thank you to Fatima, Joyce and Charlotte who have been a great support and have sourced some paper from a hotel that is closing down. They will be continuing printing with the Faraja group after we leave.


Its great to have had the opportunity and we both want to say a special thank you to the owners Abdulla, Rebecca and Othman for there support of the art residency. And, yes, the starfish really are this colour.

prints on post 1 spacerprints on post 2 spacerprints on post 3

Rebecca is pleased with the exhibition of the staff work that we pasted to the wood columns in the reception and in the restaurant. One of the guests even asks if they can buy a set of cards. We ran out of manila paper to make the cards so we direct her to the blog where she can see a virtual selection. The Giant prints that the Faraja womens group made by monoprinting have found a home on the reception walls.

large monoprint Matemwe spacerlarge monoprint

Rebecca is keen to have other individuals or groups come and stay at Panga Chumvi as artists in residence. She is very flexible and would consider all inquires.

but she did say she would love to have an artist interested in permaculture and composting to inspire people to grow there own produce.

Thank you to George Richards for his Fantastic photography and set up of this blog


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Creative Staff at Panga Chumvi

The staff at Panga Chumvi are very friendly and creative. Its been great fun doing some workshops with them over our seven-week stay. Many of the 23 staff have made cards using the last of the Japanese vinyl I brought with me.

Here are a collection of photographs of the workshops and below is a gallery of the prints produced.

AngelspacerspacerFatama & RehemaspacerAvira


Debora DustenspacerMaliki & Kuiko


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A Sultan’s Palace

CEF Dorian thru doorspacerCEF palace
photo by Dorian Keller

Fifteen minute’s drive out of Stone Town is a place called Bububu, named after the sound that the train whistles used to make as they passed through in a by gone era.

The old Sultan’s Palace is now the home of the Creative Education Foundation run by Judi Palmer and headmaster Dorian Keller

CEF fisherrmenspacerCEF fishermans huts
Our directions to get there were: take the mud road where they repair tyres, drive down the track trough lots of banana trees until you see the sea and look out for an old Zanzibarian door.
CEF Dorian large groupspacerCEF 2 girls & a boy
photo by Dorian Keller

Judi wanted a printmaking workshop to raise awareness of the school which is Steiner based.
CEF Dorian KellerspacerCEF printing break

CEF 2 girlsspacerCEF girl & hand print
Headmaster Dorian loves his work and is busy most days teaching a class of 8 year olds as
well as training a group of Zanzibarian teachers. Dorian is a talented photographer
and took some fabulous photos during the workshop.

CEF double leaf cardspacerCEF cartoon printspacerCEF face print
The workshop is for children and parents, they are a lovely creative group and the leaf cards were very popular. The palace gardens, called Salome’s Garden, run down to the sea and provide lots of plant material for our monoprinting workshop.

CEF in gardenspacerCEF bamboo
On our way home we buy Mangoes for the Hotel. Rebecca hunts for a special seller on the
roadside who’s mangoes are reputed to have the best flavor in Zanzibar.

buying mangosspacermangos in basketspacermango tree

Has the rainy season come early this year?

rainy season


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Giant Prints

Its now are 4th session with the Faraja Women’s Society at Tamani School group. They have really enjoyed printmaking and are very creative and liked the idea of making some giant prints together. Monoprinting worked out best as the 5ft plaster block that I cast was still drying out afer two weeks back at our base in Panga Chumvi.

Tamani highshotspacerTamani large print highshot

large monoprint detail3 spacerlarge monoprint Matemwe

We have had Joyce from Kenya and Charlotte from Sweden helping out with translation in Swahili. The women liked the idea of doing a giant map of Matemwe village, working together on the drawings definitely loosened every ones drawing skills.

Tamani hold up large print 2spacerTamani group with print

large monoprint detail1spacer large monoprint

Also this week Pru Chiles and a group of urban design & architecture masters
students arrived to do a studio project looking at the urban design of Zanzibar
and its challenges for the future. Zanzibar is one of the most densely populated
areas in the whole of Africa.

Pru with studentsspacerarchitects highshot

architect adding texturespacerarchitects highshot

architect using coconot matspacerPru

printing fishspacerfish print

During some down time the architects were joined by some NCOs, Insyia & Natalie from Sazani Associates ZEET project (where Rebecca from the hotel also volunteers) and John Delores & friend from the barefoot college solar project. We had a great time making monoprints.

Woman printspacerNGO workers large print


NGO workers making large printspacerJohn with poster

The students had beautiful drawing skills and the Solar project were interested in learning more about using leaves to monoprint with as they could make labels for their products.

Pineapple season is just finishing and now the mangoes will be in season. These donkeys roam up & down the beach and pop into the hotel gardens if the gardener is not looking.

pineapple sellerspacerOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Online Photo Album of Panga Chumvi

Open Panga Chumvi Photo Album

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Plenty of room inside.


The Dala Dala bus from Matemwa to Stonetown takes about an hour and can have what seems an infinite number of passengers. We bundled into the back of the bus which expanded with passengers at each stop including a man with a hen in his handbag.
I wanted to take a picture from the inside of the bus but had a feeling that the sight of our camera would scare everyone.


Stonetown is a city that seems to have used every inch of space. The most stunning aspect of many of the buildings is the famous Zanzibarian Door.


The entrance to the ministry of transport through a gap in a congregated iron fence looked very funny but turned out to be one of the most efficient government offices I have ever visited, taking just a few minuets to get a driving permit.

Hamid & ChristinespacerArtists at Cultural Arts Centre

The cultural arts center in Stone Town, run by Hamad, is a nice old airy building it was great to meet some of the Zanzibarian artists who did some great prints despite the plaster plates being still not perfect. I had used a course sand paper to rub the blocks down which caused them to print with a lot of unwanted texture, another visit to the hardware store has unearthed some fine sandpaper. The Cultural Arts Centre’s email is


The PVA was perfect for ceiling the blocks but it was important to thine down the wood glue so it was like thine cream before applying it to the surface. Adding PVA to the plaster of Paris was a disaster and a whole batch of plates got stuck in there sandwich box molds I had brought from the market.

Artists' images at Cultural Arts CentrespacerArtists outsidet Cultural Arts Centre
The Stonetown artists really enjoyed monoprinting and did some expressive drawings.
We enjoyed staying in Stonetown and getting lost in the maze of streets then making our way to the sea front to watch the sun go down at The Traveler’s Bar.

Sunset from The Traveller's Bar

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Interesting guests at Panga Chumvi

We had only been here a few days and Richard and Kat arrived from the UK. They are travelling around west Africa making promotional videos for free to charities. They are called Kola Nut productions and made this lovely short video for Panga Chumvi including some footage of the print workshops.


Sandra from Namibia has come for a chill break from her work as a specialist cancer doctor. She is taking a years sabbatical while she presents her research on the links between stress & Cancer.


Paiut & Kristina are both nurses from Finland and are taking a break before they start work with a group of recovering drug addicts in Stonetown

Paivi & Kristiina at lunch

Several groups are working with the village women in Matemwa. Hashem has been here 20 years exporting sea weed that the women harvest. Having the extra income has made quiet a difference to facilities in the village. The seaweed produces carragreen jelly and gets used in Colgate toothpaste and many cosmetics. The women all say they are working for Colgate.

seaweed drying

Its been quiet a busy time with the print workshops. The first one was with a group of 20 women at the Tamani school in Matemwe village.

Tumaini School 1st print 2spacerTumaini School 1st print

The blocks I made for them had cement mixed in with the plaster of paris which is not ideal and gave a rough print. I am still searching the hardware stalls to find materials to add to the plaster to make it more resilient. Beth Jenkins from the UK has suggested PVA.

Tamani plaster  platesspacerTamani prints & plateTamani prints on tablespacerTamani henna image
I had a eureka moment when I spotted some wood glue on a stall so will mix that into the next batch of printing blocks.

clubber's workshop 1spacerclubber's workshop 3

This Wednesdays class in Panga Chumvi were all friends who had met at the Kendwa Rocks night club. They made some cool designs. Here is the group at work and DJ Antonio’s card inspired by his speaker system.

clubber's workshop 2DJ António's Speaker design

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Refine, Restore & Rejoice (from gypsum bag)

young men of Matemwe lino cuttingspacerprinted cards

The first print classes with some hotel residents & friends went well. I brought some lino with me, so we used that as the plaster has been a bit tricky taking 5 to 6 days to slightly harden seemed too long. After a bit of help from a local builder we are off to buy some cement to add to the mix tomorrow.

gypsum plaster

The large trays I left out got walked upon by Bush babies [a small Zanzibar bear like animal] we have their foot prints in the unset plaster to prove it.

bushbaby prints

The first big print event takes place at a local school this Saturday, so a bit of pressure to get the plaster to work.

Matemwe palms

We have also had some invites from a Zanzibar artist group in Stone Town and a Steiner school for some workshops.

Watching the Dhow boats go out from the beach and the palm trees are very inspiring I have been quiet caught up with drawing the palms and taking pictures of the very shy crabs that only come out at night.


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Panga Chumvi beach resort

Panga Chumvi is a tropical paradise with soft silver sands, a very warm sea protected by a coral reef. We have rooms looking out to the sea.


Rebecca Maguire one of the owners of Panga Chumvi who has set up the residency has been fantastic organizing meetings with co-op artists and schools who are keen to be part of the printing. Here are some pics of the women’s collective in Matemwa village who make some very lovely baskets and soaps.


The Dhow boats carved out of a single piece of wood are inspirational and look like winged wooden birds.


We have been off sourcing the plaster for printing. I managed to buy lime wash in a hardware stall thinking it was plaster of Paris

.PC workshop poster

I have been preparing for the workshops and making some sample cards printed by hand on the beach. Keeping the paper in one place is a bit of a problem.

The coconut palms that surround the beach are beautiful and I have doing lots of small lino prints inspired by the textures of the palm trunks .Apparently falling coconuts can be quiet a problem I can see why pith helmets took on.


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We are here

in Zanzibar.

We have arrived at Panga Chumvi Beach resort and spent the 1st day getting to know the place and the people here (and quite a lot of sleep-catching-up.)


Christine dines with Rebecca 1st evening in Panga Chumvi

Tomorrow we hope to add some more photographs of Panga Chumvi.

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Hello Everyone

Welcome to Christine’s Zanzibar blog.

2 days before we arrive in Panga Chumvi, Zanzibar.

I have been invited together with George Richards to the Panga Chumvi beach resort & eco hotel in Matemwa Zanzibar to be their first artists in residence.

The brief for the residence is to introduce people to sustainable printmaking techniques that have a dynamic impact, require no specialist equipment and could provide local people with an affordable way to continue after the residency is over.

The plan is to make a series of giant relief prints with a group of villagers and students from local schools working collectively to make the images.

plaster - cutting into plaster   plaster - drying the plaster

The Gloucestershire Printmaking Co-op [GPC] has been very supportive and at least 6 members gave up a day to help with experiments in plaster printing.
Thanks to Carolyn Watts for photos.

.plaster - burnishing back of paper   plaster - section of inked block

Calico inks have been great and Angel Brown came over from Cardiff to give some Calico releif inks to the project and talk me through making printing ink from scratch in Zanzibar
Just packing my ink rollers Mosquito proof trousers and snorkel. Will fill you in with some more pictures when we arrive Christine xx

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