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FORUM: Flowers, Seeds and Roots in Resistance

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An expanded tour around an exhibition of new work by Kapwani Kiwanga, curated by iLiana Fokianaki.

Join us on Friday November 20, for an online FORUM that delves into the new works and the exhibition rooms of Kapwani Kiwanga, winner of the 2020 Prix Marcel Duchamp. Staged in the style of an expanded exhibition tour – each room will host guest speakers reflecting upon these works from multiple points of view; from artistic practice, from academic scholarship, from Winti spiritual practice, and from music and healing herbology.

The program opens with a conversation between Kiwanga and guest curator iLiana Fokianaki, reflecting upon three new artworks that explore the seeds, flowers and roots that moved with women through the Atlantic slave trade, and a musical work that meditates upon the political urgencies of the summer and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Next, ethnobotanist at the University of Leiden Tinde van Andel will contribute her research and the paper “How African rice ended up in the Surinamese forest”, that discusses her studies on traditional Maroon rice and its West African roots. Weaving between DNA tracing and oral histories van Andel traces certain rice grains to a village in Western Ivory Coast. While the precise origin of over 200 further Maroon rice varieties are unknown, many are named after the women who braided rice in their hair and thus ensured the survival of communities fleeing slavery and plantations.

Finally, nursing teacher and Winti priestess Marian Markelo will discuss her ritual use of flowers, seeds and roots that are known to be connected with the West Coast of Afrika. Markelo is highly recognized as a spiritual leader and had the honor of ritually consecrating the national Slavery Monument in the Osterpark Amsterdam. She describes Winti as “a philosophical and religious expression from Suriname that originated during slavery”.

As the camera tours between the works and rooms, musician and healer Pricilla Motman will share orientations, descriptions, ritual responses and impressions upon the experience of the exhibition, and its works. Montman is the founder of MAWUMB, an Ancestral healing project that seeks the embodiment of female essence at its roots.

This FORUM is co-convened by Research and Programs Manager Vivian Ziherl, and Curator of Collective Learning Jessy Koeiman as part of a series of experiments with virtual and offline programming that explores how we can come together amid physical distance.

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