Video Still from Sea (E)Scapes, 2016 - Images courtesy of Euridice Kala AKA Zaituna Kala

Euridice Kala AKA Zaituna Kala // Sea (E)Scapes from the Shores of Slavery

The freedom of all is essential to my freedom

-Mikhail Bakunin

The tide of migration; sweeping through coastlines. A personal history of inter-continental travel. Memory washed up on a receding shore. Rock pools bubble to the brim, swirling shades of deep aqua and teal. Bleached pigment fades into the edges of a Polaroid. A snapshot of histories.

“I come from a place of physical fights, death and violence. Until as recently as last year, Mozambique was at war, people do not seem to be afraid of death as we express with this kind of violence, and we heal and manifest physically our grievances.” Maputo born artist, Euridice Kala AKA Zaituna Kala, responds to a context of violence in her work. “I am as part of that history as anyone is for my life is part bi-product of it…The only thing is to find ways to heal and reconcile –Africans in general have been associated with this healing nature, if you look at works of many of us (African Artists and Diaspora) we are trying to close gaps where it seems we were passive agents.”

She describes her practice as a “space of self discovery.” Her conceptual process is also one of fluidity, “there needs to be a constant critical screening of personal and collective beliefs, as we move and change as human beings”.  “My work is not another sharp knife stabbing the same people who are used to being stabbed and continue as living corpses. My work is in fact the opposite, to hold the urge to stab and use this in-between to resolve some questions.”

Kala has been involved with the project, Sea (E)Scapes, for the last three years. The project traces the route of the Sao Jose Paquete d’Africa that in 1794 was ship wrecked off the coast of Cape Town. About half of the slaves aboard tragically drowned.  “This is a parallel project between artistic and research process. I’ve been in Lisbon, in Ilha de Moçambique, in Cape Town and other related places.” The project thus far has culminated in performances, photographs, video pieces, and texts.

“I have concerns…concerns that only through expression in art I see an appeasing of my questions. I am not a conceptual artist, I am a visual agent in the art world and my responsibility is to be as descriptive as possible when I present my ideas to the limited and sometimes repressive world of art and hope for the best.”

Video Still from Sea (E)scapes, 2016

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