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Programs and Tours


February 26

Thursday, February 26, 9 am - 1 pm


Congolese popular painter Sapin Makengele and Belgian filmmaker Cécile Michel will spend the day at UMMA while Makengele creates a new painting that reflects on the current state of student politics and repression in the Congo. This live painting performance is an extension of a documentary film created by Makengele and Michel titled Les Fantômes de Lovanium (Ghosts of Lovanium) that captures the reactions and conversations of students and other onlookers as they gather to observe Makengele while he paints in public on the campus of the University of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Come join Makengele and Michel to witness the creation of Makengele’s newest painting and interact with the artists. Over the course of a few days, Makengele will repeat the performance in Ann Arbor and produce a new painting in different locations around campus including the Institute for the Humanities on February 20, Gallery DAAS on February 23-24, and UMMA on February 25-26. For more information visit

This residency and performances are made possible by the U-M Institute for the Humanities, Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, International Institute, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Department of History, Department of the History of Art, Department of Screen Arts and Cultures, Center for World Performance Studies, University of Michigan Museum of Art, African Studies Center,
and Africa Workshop.

categories: Special Events

Zell Visiting Writers Series

Thursday, February 26, 5:10 pm - 6:10 pm

Helmut Stern Auditorium

Natalie Diaz was born in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian community. She earned a BA from Old Dominion University, where she received a full athletic scholarship. Diaz played professional basketball in Europe and Asia before returning to Old Dominion to earn an MFA. She is the author of the poetry collection When My Brother Was an Aztec (2012), which New York Times reviewer Eric McHenry described as an “ambitious... beautiful book.” Her honors and awards include the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry from Bread Loaf, the Narrative Poetry Prize, and Lannan Literary Fellowship.

Diaz lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, where she works with the last speakers of Mojave and directs a language revitalization program. In a PBS interview, she spoke of the connection between writing and experience: "for me writing is kind of a way for me to explore why I want things and why I'm afraid of things and why I worry about things. And for me, all of those things represent a kind of hunger that comes with being raised in a place like this.”

UMMA is pleased to be the site for the Zell Visiting Writers Series, which brings outstanding writers each semester. The Series is made possible through a generous gift from UM alumna Helen Zell(’64). For more information, please see

categories: Writers Series