C&: What about your interest concerning the history of slavery in Africa and Brazil? How are you looking into this topic?
LN: Zimbabwe doesn’t share in this legacy of transatlantic trade in the way that Benin does, for example. So while this is an incredibly important aspect of global history, it’s not a topic of personal resonance for me. I have, however, drawn tremendous value from the sentiments and historical investigation of artists that I’ve met here in Brazil who deal with this subject as part of their practice. You also cannot deal with the very grave contemporary issues around race in Brazil without confronting the repercussions of that deeply fraught historical legacy.
C&: How do you see the relationship and connections between Lusophone artists and cultural producers from Africa and Latin America?
LN: Language has been such a huge element and mediator of my experience here in Brazil. It has opened up an entire new awareness of the Lusophone world. I’ve been thinking a lot about early Portuguese trade and influence in what we know today as Zimbabwe: the introduction of maize as our staple crop, for example, and the integration of the Portuguese early settlers. I’ve also resolved to
visit Mozambique. It’s right next door to us! I’m very much looking forward to an art-filled, in-depth experience that goes beyond the superficial tourist jaunt of beaches and shrimp.
Lucia Nhamo was awarded the Goethe/Lanchonete residency prize at Bamako Encounters in 2015. The Goethe Institut and Musagetes/ArtsEverywhere support the juried prize of a two- month residency for an artist from Bamako Encounters with Lanchonete.org in São Paulo. The residency prize is awarded to a female artist whose work broadens and/or challenges perspectives on contemporary African migrations.
Aïcha Diallo is joint Director of the art education program KontextSchule, affiliated with the UdK/University of the Arts, Berlin, and is Associate Editor of Contemporary And(C&).