Vera & Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Red Africa: Things Fall Apart
VERNISSAGE: April 20, 2017, 6:00 p.m.
Opening Remarks by
András Mink, Senior Research Fellow, Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Mark Nash, curator, film historian and filmmaker and Dr. Nadine Siegert, Deputy Director, Iwalewahaus, University of Bayreuth
The exhibition “Things Fall Apart” features 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 title of the exhibition is borrowed from Chinua Achebe’s 1958 classic of post-colonial fiction, seen by many as the archetypal modern African novel in English, which reflects on the devastating impact of colonialism in Africa.
The exhibition presents historical and contemporary responses to the geopolitical and cultural connections of African nations to the Soviet Union and related countries. Links were forged particularly during the second half of the twentieth century, as post-colonial power struggles drew support from the East and the West. The Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Cuba and East Germany all offered aid to national governments such as those of Mozambique and Angola, as well as providing educational scholarships as a means of wielding soft power.
The historic ties between these nations find expression across the twentieth and twenty- first centuries: from early-Soviet utopian visions of interracial collaboration; through the height of the Cold War when soft power was used to influence independence struggles; to the ongoing stories of African independence and liberation.
Participating Artists: Burt Caesar, Filipa César, Onejoon Che, Ângela Ferreira, Yevgeniy Fiks, Isaac Julien, Alexander Markov, Jo Ractliffe, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu, Paulo Kapela, Milica Tomić, Tonel, Travelling Communiqué
Curated by Mark Nash
Research and Curatorial Assistant: Nadine Siegert
Project Manager: Will Strong (London), Nadine Siegert (Bayreuth), Paula Nascimento és / and João Rapazote (Lisszabon / Lisbon), Székely Katalin (Budapest)
Things Fall Apart is a cooperation between Calvert 22 Foundation, London; Iwalewahaus – Universität Bayreuth; EGEAC – Galerias Municipais and Africa.Cont, Lisbon; and the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives, Budapest.
Galeria Centralis, Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
1051 Budapest, Arany János utca 32.
The exhibition is open between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. every day except Monday from April 20th until June 4th, 2016. Free admission.