FOCUS: Mama Aisa with Boris van Berkum, Alexandra van Dongen, Marian Markelo and Gloria Wekker

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Join us for a reception of Mama Aisa, a new monumental sculpture celebrating Winti culture and commemorating the 150th anniversary of Keti Koti that took place on 1 July this year.

In this dynamic evening program we are honored to host a presentation at 7PM by Professor Gloria Wekker, as well as contributions by artist Boris van Berkum, Winti Priestess Marian Markelo, and curator of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum Alexandra van Dongen.

The sculpture Mama Aisa is created by artist Boris van Berkum as part of a long-term collaboration with Winti priestess Marian Markelo, and as part of our Rotterdam Cultural Histories initiative together with our neighbors TENT Rotterdam. Together van Berkum and Markelo seek to celebrate the power of connection, diversity, and cultural exchange, inviting audiences to engage with Winti beliefs and traditions.

The collaboration of Markelo and van Berkum started with the Kabra Mask, in which the pair reclaimed a mask from a museum collection for ritual and community use, including ceremonial healing of colonial trauma. Over the past decade this practice has steadily grown, culminating this year when King Willem-Alexander wore a badge of the Kabra Mask during his public apology for the House of Orange’s historical involvement in the Dutch slave trade. The sculpture Mama Aisa thereby marks the most recent iteration of Markelo and van Berkum’s shared exploration in ceremony and cultural advocacy. The ceramic sculpture project ‘Kabra Blauw’, also by Markelo and van Berkum, is currently on display at the Boijmans’s Depot and explores colonial traces in the museum collection.

The reception of Mama Aisa takes place following the finissage of our long-term exhibition 84 STEPS in our 3rd floor galleries. Come at 6 pm for a toast and launch of the Indonesian artist collective Tromarama’s Soliloquy lamp auction. From 6 to 8pm you can bid on the lamps and have a chance to take a piece of the exhibition home. Auction results will be announced at the close of the evening, and proceeds of the auction will go to the organizing of the weekend festivities of the My Oma exhibition in December.

On behalf of the staff and artists, we look forward to seeing you at Kunstinstituut Melly!




Supported By

Rotterdam Cultural Histories #24: Mama AisaMondriaan Fund, CBK Rotterdam and Kayden Stone & Ceramics

84 STEPS: Frame FinlandGoethe Institut RotterdamIASPISifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)OUTSET, and Stokroos Foundation

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