Grada Kilomba: ILLUSIONS

In this performance, previously staged at the Biennale de Sao Paulo (2016), artist Grada Kilomba brings the oral African tradition of storytelling into a contemporary context to recover the memories and realities of a neo-colonial world. The artist explores the coexistence of times through her recasting of the myths of Narcissus and Echo, in which the present seems suffocated by a colonial past. Through her performance, she poses the question: How do we break out of this colonial and patriarchal mould? The performance will be followed by a Q&A with the artist, moderated by Katayoun Arian.

ILLUSIONS by Kilomba is curated by Arian as part of First Things First's program ‘Decolonial Options: The Futurity of Decolonial Practice’. During a week-long program in the framework of the exhibition Cinema Olanda: Platform, First Things First aims to critically investigate and discuss the coloniality of Dutch society and beyond by inviting divergent actors whose works circle around decoloniality in one closed, and two public events. What does it mean to decolonise and what are the ethical questions that underlie the project of decolonisation?

[figure grada_kilomba_live]


7:30 pm: Intro
7:40 – 8:20 pm: Performance
8:20 - 8:30 pm: Break
8:30 – 9:30 pm: In Conversation and Q&A

First Things First approaches the vast subject of decoloniality moreover through the five stages of awareness, Denial, Guilt, Shame, Recognition and Reparation as formulated by Kilomba in her art and writing, as tools to understand and overcome colonial power structures.

First Things First consists of Katayoun Arian (Curator, Researcher, Writer), Louise Autar (Activist, Organiser) and Max de Ploeg (Activist, Political / Cultural Programmer).


Supported By

Goethe-Institut Rotterdam

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