SALTS (Switzerland) and Waza art center Lubumbashi (DR Congo), with Lago Mio Lugano artist residency (Switzerland), are delighted to announce the coalition-based project ‘Quilombo’, comprising an exhibition, a three-month residency in two Swiss cities, and a catalog. Quilombo is presented in collaboration with Culturescapes 2021 Amazonia.
Individual or two-person applications are welcomed from Congolese, Brazilian and Swiss artists, and are open to all disciplines that imbue a research-based practice or that feel inspired by the outlined thematics below.
This project has been developed out of a personal invitation between the Swiss-based institution SALTS and the Congo-based Waza art center, in order to collaborate, exchange, and learn from each other during a full year of co-programming and co-curation. The foundation for an intensive collaboration with the artists is laid in the partnership with the artist residency Lago Mio Lugano on the Swiss border with Italy.
Once synonymous with escape and resistance, ‘quilombo’ today stands for a Brazilian settlement of African descent. Anthropologists and historians meanwhile have arrived at a new understanding of these rural communities, calling for a broader definition. Regardless of their specific history, quilombos share collective identities and notions, linking them to their African roots and making them fight common battles as people in DRC, Switzerland or anywhere else: against capitalism and racism, and for the equitable distribution of resources.
The project «Quilombo» attempts to build on the idea of a ‘Black Atlantic’, coined by British-Guyanese historian and writer Paul Gilroy in 1993 as a ‘Counterculture of Modernity’ in the relations between Africa, the Americas, and Europe. Can we activate aesthetics sensitive to common concerns, taking advantage of the digital age’s challenges, particularly in the unexpected connectivity of our pandemic era? Social injustice has its roots in the history of exploitation of natural resources and human labour and continues to this day. How can this be undermined by an alternative reading of human relations between the three continents, imagining an ecology that empowers humanism and diversity?
The organisers offer:
- A three-month residency + exhibition (August/September at Lago Mio in Lugano/Switzerland, October at Atelier Mondial in Basel/Switzerland) for an artist from the DR Congo. Support for the artist from DRC includes housing costs, living expenses budget at free disposal (1500 CHF per month), and production support to be defined.
- A three-month residency + exhibition for an artist from Brazil/Amazonia region. Support for the artist from the Brazil/Amazon region includes housing costs, living expenses budget at free disposal (1500 CHF per month), and production support to be defined.
- Residency + exhibition for a Swiss artist, with support of 750 CHF per month and production support to be defined.
- Non-physical residency + exhibition for artists who are unable to travel (personal reasons, legal, health etc.) with support still to be defined.