AKAA | Also Known As Africa

Paris, November 10-12, 2017

Indigo is the colour of the purest spirit, the purest love. It runs through our history on the African continent, adorning our bodies even as it stains them so we do not forget. For artists Robyn Denny and Mamela Nyamza, this body of work is not only an archival interrogation, it is a quest, an unexplored journey through painting and performance into history and a narrative exploring colonial-era enslavement and the commercial indigo and fabric trade. Indigo Passage to Healing is simultaneously a deep form of remembering, and a ritual to begin cleansing and finding collective healing of bodies and memory in the present.

The work boldly explores memory and history within the context of a contemporary interrogation of de-coloniality in Africa. It beautifully tracks the history of empire and within that history, the ideological domination and material extraction that defined the oppression of women. Curator, Beathur Mgoza Baker says the exhibition recalls the invisibility of women from the Cape right up the West Coast of Africa, through Mali, Benin, Nigeria and Ghana to remember their contribution because there are bodies everywhere – bodies in the gaping holes of our history, littering colonial-era narratives and choking the pages of historical texts that have excluded them, their bodies and names. This work is a beautiful ode to those bodies of African women who quietly enabled vast profits through their enslavement and sweat.


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