Tanzania has slightly more than 120 ethnic groups, some of which were organized into chiefdoms during the colonial period. In regions that did not have traditional chiefs, the colonial administration opted to create them. During independence, the burden of creating national unity fell to Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the first president of Tanganyika (now Tanzania). Under Nyerere, Tanzania adopted a brand of socialism called Ujamaa or “African socialism” in 1967. Nyerere announced the shift in the Arusha Declaration six years after independence. Some scholars, such as Sam Maghimbi (2012), view this form of socialism as purely focused on agrarian reform or as a branch of utopian socialism. The present article explores how visual artistic production was shaped by socialism in Tanzania during the Ujamaa period (1967–1985), by the dismantling of socialism under neoliberal...

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