Researching the relations between ongoing artistic, social and political forms of life, Generative Indirections intends to explore the potentialities of performance studies in the critical space between the Social Sciences, Humanities and Art, and give voice to counter hegemonic epistemologies, blurring theory and practice. In-direction thus becomes a magnetic field, moving between theory and practice, challenging disciplinary boundaries in order to question how Performance Studies can be received in Portugal.
Two years before the Exhibition of the Portuguese World (“Exposição de Mundo Português”), a very large Exhibition-Fair was held in Luanda, that did not go down in colonial history. Its was meant to display the economic development of Angola in an "expressive and comprehensive documentary", rather than exalt the regime's historicist programme and imperial mystique - the norm with colonial exhibitions, such as the Historical Exhibition of the Occupation (“Exposição Histórica da Ocupação”) held in 1937, in the Eduardo VII Park in Lisbon.
Vela 691 is the code name of the US satellite that detected the nuclear blast performed by South Africa on the 22nd of September in 1979. The test was conducted in the South Atlantic off the cost of Antarctica. It's also the name of a new piece Victor Gama composed by invitation from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The piece was premiered during the concert series MusicNOW at Harris Theatre in Chicago on the 5th of March 2012 and was a result of an invitation from composers-in-residence Mason Bates and Anna Clyne.
tectonik:TOMBWA is a project initiated by Victor Gama in the desert of Namibe, Angola, in 2006 with the aim of reconstructing and interpret professor Augusto Zita's research thesis “An anthropology of Utopia: formation of Utopian identities”. The project is based on his fragmented notes, and is intended to resurface his thoughts, concepts and refletions. For that aim Gama started an archive of some of the main items pointed out by prof. Augusto in his notes such as recordings of sounds collected with a specific device in the Namibe desert, photografs and videos of several features along the road from Namibe to Tombwa, as well as a collection of objects found laying on the ground, different types of sands, dryed leaves of plants and many other items.
Travel in Monica de Miranda’s imagery becomes a metaphor for what Walter Mignolo calls ‘the colonial wound’: as a way to explore her multiple movements and those of her family through places linked by a common colonial matrix she builds her own emotional map in a variety of mediums. It could be argued that the stations chosen for her transit suggest a reflection on decolonization that in the Zapatistas’ terms would carry us towards a world that would fit many worlds: a proposal for a pluriversal -as in opposition to uni-versal - reading of reality.
he ROOTS project approaches the slavery theme through/from a contemporary vision inspired by an archeological discovery in 2008 in the “green circle” in Lagos at the location which was known as the “Vale da Gafaria” (Valley of the Leper Hospital). In the area rescue archeological excavations that preceded the construction of one of the city’s underground car parks enabled the methodological investigation of the whole area affected by the enterprise - one of the ex-libris of urban regeneration that the municipal administration was able to carry out in the decade of the XXI Century.
We land in Dakar at 2.30 in the morning. Looking from the plane at the Cap Vert peninsula, the map I had been studying for months now gains life. I know exactly where our hotel is. I come out of the plane looking for the first elemet that will prove I am in Africa. Nothing special, apart from the airport name: Léopold Sedar Senghor, Senegal´s first president, the president-poet.
Beyond Boetjan and the South African connection, occupation of one form or another has always been part of the collective psyche of Mozambique. Attempts to explore this, however, are far more recent. A new mixed media exhibition, Ocupações Temporárias (temporary occupations), sees five young Mozambican artists attempt to do just that.
For four days last month, tens of thousands of fans from around the world descended on Essaouira, Morocco, for an African musical extravaganza: the annual festival Gnaoua et Musiques du Monde, now in its 14th edition. The protagonist of this musical feast was as usual Gnawa music: when to Gnawa masters like Mustapha Baqbou, Mohammed Guinea, and Hassan Boussou were not on the main public stages, they were performing lilas (night of healing) that began at midnight at different riads (traditional style Moorish house with a courtyard); and that is where true European aficionados went to trance and to learn the specifics of daqa marrakchiya (the percussive clap associated with the city of Marrakesh).
If any African artist working today can be described as internationally acclaimed, instantly recognizable, with a style marked by a unique personality, it is the South African William Kentridge. A ubiquitous presence in art festivals and exhibitions and in the permanent collections of the great museums, a recipient of numerous prizes, encomia, and honorary doctorates, Kentridge was born in Johannesburg in 1955, when popular uprisings and increasingly harsh repression drew clear lines between partisans and opponents of the racist authoritarian regime.
Extrapolating their critique to the demands placed upon Africa by the art market and the culture industry, these artists - Romuald Hazoumé, Dominique Zinkpé e Gérard Quenum - show themselves immune to, if not ignorant of, the self-absorption prevalent in contemporary art. They do not cease to question the processes according to which of African artists in general, and of those from Benin in specific, at once infiltrate and are assimilated by the systems of art and culture.
With the same boldness, but in very different conditions, a growing number of non-African youngsters adventure themselves in 21st century Africa. Refusing holiday packages where tourists are locked inside sterilized resorts, foreigners stroll around on their own improvised exploits, prepared with information of the networks and pocket guides. Rucksack on the back, they travel through countries that allow some daring. This way of travelling promotes meeting real people, and not only the crystalline waters or the exotic animals.
The notion of art as a vehicle for criticism and resistance was taken up in a programmatic manner by the South African group Resistance Art at the end of the nineteen-seventies to the end of confronting institutionalized racism in the then-totalitarian nation. A direct result of the 1976 Soweto uprising and the 1977 murder of the Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko, it represented a “galvanized anti-apartheid activism” in the artistic and cultural spheres. The idea of “culture as a weapon of political struggle,” affirmed by a multiethnic convocation of artists in Botswana in 1982, appears to be the overarching theme of the MOMA’s curators in the exhibition Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now, with an eye, perhaps, to those presently fomenting global crises and the sensibilities they must produce in an audience once again attuned to injustice and inequality (Image 1).
The streets of Brazil are full of startling design solutions by ordinary people driven by pure human need. Adélia Borges writes about a new exhibition space that celebrates a design culture of diversity.
In the country with a Kalashnikov in its flag we were walking a long way to meet a musician and record some of his tunes for the soundtrack to a documentary. Tobias Dzandiwandira is a practically unknown talent, for he lives with his large family an hour and a half away from the nearest road in Mozambique’s centre-west, close to the border with Zimbabwe.