Oxalá is a marvellous migratory word taking Insha’Allah into the Portuguese language. The word Oxalá, which stems from centuries of integration, expresses a sense of the horizon, of becoming, and of a future under construction.
With this exhibition, the time has come for a much needed reflection, that of an inclusive Europe. The museum wants to integrate citizens with a migration background and contribute to a more cohesive society by bringing the debate on the decolonisation of Europe. This creative project breaks stereotypes and questions the concept of identity.
Europa Oxalá @ AfricaMuseum
Since its reopening in 2018, the AfricaMuseum aims to be more than ever a dynamic platform for interrelation and dialogue. The nerve-wracking pressure which moves millions of people to migrate as well as the consequences of globalisation that are reshaped in a quite innovative and sometimes even radical debate about identity, are extremely important issues in this specific dialogue.
The artists invite us to reflect on a Europe that is Oxalá - hopeful but also uncertain and doubtful.
Curators of the exhibition
António Pinto Ribeiro has a degree in Philosophy and a PhD in Cultural Studies, António Pinto Ribeiro’s professional activity is rooted in cultural programming and research. He has been the artistic director of Culturgest since its inception (1993-2004), and director of artistic programmes at the Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian (2004-2015), including the Gulbenkian Próximo Futuro (Next Future) project, which is dedicated to the arts and cultures of the Global South. Curator of a number of international exhibitions, he was also general curator of “Lisbon, Ibero-American Capital of Culture 2017”. His main research interests are linked to the field of contemporary art and culture, with a particular focus on African and South American arts and cultures. He contributes to a large number of international publications. Currently, he is a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, in the team of the ERC project MEMOIRS – Children of Empires and European Postmemories and serves as an international arts programmer. His most recent publications are África, os quatro rios (2017), Peut-on Décoloniser les musées ? (2019) and Novo Mundo – Arte Contemporânea no Tempo da Pós-Memória (2021).
Katia Kameli graduated from the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Bourges and completed the post-graduate course “Le Collège-Invisible” at the École supérieure d’art& de design de Marseille. Her work has achieved visibility and recognition on the international art and film scene and has been shown in solo exhibitions: Her artworks are part of the following collections: Musée National d’Art Moderne/Centre Georges Pompidou, Centre National des Arts Plastiques (CNAP), FRAC Hauts-de-France, FRAC Poitou-Charentes and FRAC PACA.
Aimé Mpane Aimé Mpane splits his time between Kinshasa and Brussels. His art is fed by the trips back and forth between his native Africa and his adoptive Europe. The “deterritorialization” of the Outlandish so dear to Deleuze is also that of the essential connections, the threads and bridges, the seams and nets that are vital to avoid losing one’s way. It is the deterritorialization of the transfers that refer to the relationship and the search for complementarities, the link across the chasm gouged out between Africa and Europe, black and white, past and present, traditional culture and contemporary culture. Aimé Mpane’s work primarily addresses the legacy and traces of colonialism in Africa, but never in a self-pitying way. He appeals to the solidarity of the human race and to the collective consciousness. His artworks speak of human dignity, hope, courage, empathy and perseverance.
Europa Oxalá was first presented in Mucem in Marseille, France (20.10.2021 > 16.01.2022) and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisboa, Portugal (04.03.2021 > 22.08.2022) before coming to the AfricaMuseum in Tervuren, Belgium (07.10.2022 > 05.03.2022).
Co-production: Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, ERC project MEMOIRS – Children of Empires and European Postmemories (European Research Council), Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian (Délégation en France, Paris / Centre of Modern Art, Lisbon) / Mucem, Marseille (France).