Nú Barreto in "EUROPA, Oxalá" (Group Show): Fondation Gulbenkian, Lisbon

Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal https://gulbenkian.pt/agenda/europa-oxala/

In Europe, from the 1960s onwards, the flow of populations with a colonial experience - retornados, pieds-noirs, repatriates, Africans, North Africans, Asians, Caribbeans - carried with them a fabric of mystery, novelty, exoticism, escape, migration and scattered memories. Their presence attested to the passage from Europe as a colonizing continent to a post-colonial Europe. Today, the children and grandchildren of the generations that lived through the processes of decolonization, as well as many non-Western citizens living in the West, are asking themselves questions from a new perspective of enunciation. One of these questions concerns the hybrid place in which they live, that of the non-white European, the Eastern European, the Latin American European.

The exhibition "EUROPA, Oxalá" presents the work of twenty-one European artists and intellectuals whose family origins lie in the former colonies. These "children of empires", born and raised in a post-colonial context, propose here a reflection on their heritage, their memory and their identity.

Their parents and grandparents were born and lived in Congo, Angola, Guinea, Benin, Algeria, and Madagascar; and these artists have inherited not only the voices, sounds, and gestures, but also the images and memories of their original cultures, the starting point for a major research project in historical archives. As a result, their artistic productions nourish an original reflection on racism, the decolonization of the arts, and the deconstruction of colonial thought. The way in which some of them combine contemporary languages and traditional processes constitutes an essential contribution to contemporary Europe. The innovative and transnational character of the work of these "post memory" artists has had a profound impact on the artistic and cultural scene over the past two decades.

Through their work, "EUROPA, Oxalá" bears witness to the creative power of contemporary European cultural diversity, opening up new perspectives on the notion of Europe.