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Zeitz Mocaa presents Indigo Waves and Other Stories

The Zeitz Mocaa has announced the opening of the international research and multi-chapter exhibition, Indigo Waves and Other Stories: Re-Navigating the Afrasian Sea and Notions of Diaspora.
Image supplied: Luvuyo Equiano Nyawose, Untitled 4
Image supplied: Luvuyo Equiano Nyawose, Untitled 4

“For the first time, Zeitz Mocaa will bring together artists from across the African and Asian continents and their respective diasporas in one exhibition. We are extremely grateful to our sponsors and partners for the opportunity to present this project,” said Thato Mogotsi, assistant curator at Zeitz Mocaa.

Indigo Waves and Other Stories is guest curated by art historians and curators Natasha Ginwala and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, with Michelangelo Corsaro, and in partnership with Gropius Bau and Savvy Contemporary in Berlin, and Vasl Artists’ Association, Karachi, amongst others.

Image supplied: Oscar Murillo, surge (social cataracts)
Image supplied: Oscar Murillo, surge (social cataracts)

Taking the stories and histories of the Indian Ocean as its departure point, the project, including the exhibition, brings together contemporary artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers and thinkers to investigate, unpack and shed light on some of the smaller and bigger historical, cultural and linguistic links between the continents of Africa and Asia. The exhibition approaches the Indian Ocean as a communal horizon from which to read Afrasian histories of forced and unforced movement through currents of mercantile and colonial empire.

Soh Bejeng Ndikung and Ginwala said, “What does oceanic re-memory look like? How does one correspond with and commemorate this terrain that is equally one of connection as it is of indenture and trauma? As we transmit the complex knowledge that is harboured within many of us as water beings, Indigo Waves and Other Stories seeks to set up reciprocal motions that unsettle established geopolitical assessments and the dominance in academia around the North Atlantic. It is our intention with this project to attend to open tides of acculturation, Afrasian imaginaries, an atmosphere of multiple tongues and the monsoon cycles of the Indian Ocean system.”

Indigo Waves and Other Stories includes ambitious new commissions from South African multidisciplinary artist Thania Petersen, visual artist Ayesha Hameed, the Réunionnais sculptor Hasawa, Franco-Comorian Myriam Omar Awadi and Mauritian artist Shiraz Bayjoo’s site-specific installation, made in collaboration with local historian and storyteller Traci Kwaai.

Other participating artists include Nigerian-English photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi; Malala Andrialavidrazana, a visual artist born in Madagascar; Indian photographer Sohrab Hura; Taiwanese artist-researcher and photographer Cetus Chin-Yun Kuo; Colombian painter Oscar Murillo; South African artist, curator, filmmaker and researcher Luvuyo Equiano Nyawose; South African painter Cinga Samson and artist and researcher Sancintya Mohini Simpson with Isha Ram Das.

Image supplied: Luvuyo Equiano Nyawose, Untitled 26
Image supplied: Luvuyo Equiano Nyawose, Untitled 26

“This exhibition exemplifies the work we are committed to at Zeitz Mocaa – to uncover and highlight new and forgotten histories and forge new oceanic pathways of connection and affiliation,” said Koyo Kouoh, Zeitz Mocaa executive director and chief curator. “It is only through the contributions of poets, artists, filmmakers and storytellers that we can reimagine ourselves in ways not dictated by dominant histories. We are showing that our voices and narratives carry the beauty of our entanglements and relationships over centuries, and now is the time that it takes centre stage.”

Indigo Waves and Other Stories opens on 30 June 2022 and will be on view until 29 January 2023 on level 2 at Zeitz Mocaa.

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