EGEAC – Galerias Municipais/AFRICA.CONT presents the programme RED AFRICA and the exhibition Things Fall Apart curated by Mark Nash, at Galeria Avenida da Índia, Lisbon, opening on December 7th at 7pm.
The exhibition will feature artists, filmmakers and groups from across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Drawing on film, photography, propaganda and public art, the exhibition presents interdisciplinary reflections on African connections to the Soviet Union and related countries.
The exhibition Things Fall Apart takes its title from Chinua Achebe’s 1958 classic of post-colonial fiction, Things Fall Apart. Seen by many as the archetypal modern African novel in English, the book reflects on the devastating impact of colonialism in Africa. The exhibition uses this association to focus on a similar loss of utopian perspective following the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Communist Bloc’s investment in African cultural and political development. Things Fall Apart presents fifteen contemporary artists’ projects linked to this theme in different ways.
The exhibition continues the work of the Socialist Friendship research strand (Calvert 22, 2013- 2015) exploring the Soviet educational bursary scheme supporting countries that were conducting anti-colonial liberation struggles and developing Communist cadres within them. Connections were particularly strong with countries such as Mozambique, Ghana, Ethiopia and Angola that were conducting liberation struggles or which, post-independence, were part of the Non-Aligned Movement. The starting point for this research project, a radio programme produced by Burt Caesar for BBC Radio 4 in 2009 called Black Students in Red Russia, is available to listen to in the gallery.
Things Fall Apart has a particular focus on cinema as a means of developing a militant aesthetic, one intended to imagine a future independent of the colonial powers as well as creating international links between African countries and the developing and Communist worlds.
With: Alexander Markov, Ângela Ferreira, Burt Caesar, Filipa César, Isaac Julien, Jo Ractliffe, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Milica Tomić, Onejoon Che, Paulo Kapela, Museum of Yugoslav History, Travelling Communiqué, Tonel, Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu, Yevgeniy Fiks