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27.4.2021   |  Andrea Moreira

Breaching borders: Congo-Mozambique

BREACHING BORDERS: CONGO – MOZAMBIQUE (30 March-10 April, 2021 at the Centro Cultural Franco-Moçambicano in Mozambique)
was an exhibition born out of a project that seeks to create opportunities for meetings between the two countries.
The title arises from the movement of open borders, the initial title of the project, to closed borders due to the current pandemic. We wonder what ways we are going to find to break these barriers that have emerged and have taken us by surprise. The desire to create this bond, to be together and establish new connections opened space for this exhibition, breaking all borders. The artists, Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo and Fransix Tenda Lombo explore questions about encounters and the dialogue, reflecting the denial of physical and / or symbolic boundaries.

Link to the virtual tour of the exhibition:

title BREACHING BORDERS, art and about africa

This initiative aims to mark the beginning of a series of exchanges between Mozambican and Congolese artists facilitated by Galeria 1834 in Maputo and Kin ArtStudio in Kinshasa. It is more frequent for visual African artists to meet in Europe than on the actual continent. Fortunately, though, a paradigm shift is already being felt in various parts of the African continent, which is subverting a system with a long history in which the main artistic and cultural events only happen outside the continent. Over the past couple of years, museums like Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town or the Museum of African Contemporary Art in Marrakech have emerged, transforming these cities in new art capitals in Africa. Contemporary art events throughout the continent are thriving, such as Lagos biennale (second edition) and inaugural Young Congo Biennale or BISO, the first international biennale of contemporary sculpture in Ouagadougou. Meanwhile, artists who have already found international success, have set up their own structures to encourage young talents, such as Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo in Kinshasa with Kin ArtStudio and Gonçalo Mabunda in Maputo with 1834 Gallery.

Breaching borders: Congo-Mozambique, Vanessa Simbine

Breaching borders: Congo-Mozambique, Picture by Vanessa Simbine

We want to further build on this endeavor and initiate an exchange between both visual arts organizations – Kin ArtStudio and 1834 Gallery – while engaging Mozambique in a wider regional network. Established in 2011 by Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo, Kin ArtStudio has a long track record of achievements and is now broadening its scope of action and influence. 1834 Gallery was recently set up by Gonçalo Mabunda out of a desire to strengthen his support to other artists and the internationalization of Mozambican visual arts, formerly done through his project Karl Marx dezoito trinta-quatro. This project builds on the relationships that Vitshois and Mabunda have fostered, both with each other and with other artists in their communities and across Africa.

The following link refers to the conversation “Creating Spaces for the Dissemination of Visual Arts in African Countries” that took place on the 18th of March in the Mozambican French Cultural Center, with the participation of artists Vitshois Bondo Mwilambwe, Fransix Tenda from Kinshasa, Gonçalo Mabunda and Mauro Pinto from Maputo, cultural producer Grace Kalima and moderated by visual anthropologist Andrea Moreira.



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