An installation that questions the discoveries and reminds us of slavery is inaugurated

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An installation that questions the discoveries and reminds us of slavery is inaugurated

“O Barco / The Boat” is a huge piece by Grada Kilomba that will appear next to MAAT in the Lisbon river basin.

It will be inaugurated on Friday 3rd September under the name “O Barco / The Boat” and is an artistic installation that can be seen at MAAT in the Belém area of ​​Lisbon until October 17th. It is a project by the Portuguese capital born artist Grada Kilomba with roots in Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe.

“O Barco / The Boat” consists of 140 blocks that “form the silhouette of a ship’s floor and carefully shape the space created to contain the corpses of millions of Africans enslaved by European empires. In Western imagination, a boat is easily associated with fame, freedom and maritime expansion, which are described as “discovery”, but in the artist’s view, “a continent of millions of people cannot be discovered” nor “one of the longest and most most terrible “. Chapters of humanity – slavery – can be erased, ”describes the museum.

Grada Kilomba is a writer, artist and psychologist.

“This first large-format installation by Grada Kilomba, which extends over a length of 32 meters along the Tagus, invites the audience to enter a garden of remembrance, in which poems rest on burnt wooden blocks and recall forgotten stories and identities. What stories are being told? Where are they counted? How are they counted? And told by whom? These are questions that arise when entering this installation, ”adds MAAT to this piece, which is also part of the cultural program of the Lisboa na Rua city council.

The work opens with a three-act performance of Grada Kilomba, in which several generations of Afro-descended communities are the main performers. It has a music production by Kalaf Epalanga, a writer and musician belonging to Buraka Som Sistema. Find out about the dates and times of the performances on the MAAT website. It is a commission and a production of the BoCA – Biennale for Contemporary Art.

Illustrative image of the part.