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Memories in motion. Contemporary art from Mauritania

Memories in motion. Contemporary art from Mauritania is the first exhibition entirely dedicated to Mauritanian contemporary art outside its borders and presents works by Mamadou Anne, Oumar Ball, Zeinab Chiaa, Daouda Corera, Malika Diagana, Béchir Malum, Saleh Lo, El Moctar Sidi Mohamed "Mokhis", Amy Sow, Mohamed Sidi, and Moussa Abdallah Sissako.

Despite the geographic proximity and close historical and cultural ties between Spain and Mauritania, Mauritanian artistic expressions are little known to the Spanish public. This is the reason that has moved Casa Árabe and Casa África to carry out this project that will be held at the headquarters of both institutions throughout 2022 with three exhibitions that can be visited in the cities of Madrid, Cordoba, and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

This exhibition, curated by Aïcha Janeiro, explores how memories - personal, collective, or cultural - manifest themselves in various creative processes in the contemporary art movement in Mauritania. The paintings, photographs, facilities, and sculptures on display allow us to reflect on the interconnection between memory and imagination, a subject that characterizes the current art scene in Mauritania and bring us closer to different personal and collective stories that intermingle with symbolic elements and underlying references to popular traditions such as poetry, African oral tradition, Arabic, Chinese or Tifinagh calligraphy, traditional Tuareg crafts or objects, and everyday life. In the same way, the artists show concern for current topics, shared by any other territory of our planet, such as the environment, migratory processes, the situation of women in society, miscegenation, or the recent pandemic.

Mauritania's history is marked by movement, interaction, and adaptation, and is distinguished by its wide coastal strip, bathed by the waters of the Atlantic, and essentially desert geography and climate, where the white and red dunes of the Sahara are transformed into the savannah in the south, in the valley of the Senegal River. In the interior, mainly in the Adrar region, various archaeological sites testify to human presence and artistic expression since the Neolithic period through the discovery of tools, handicrafts, engravings, and cave paintings featuring various symbols, animals, and anthropomorphic figures.

The artistic expressions of Mauritania are framed in the cultural, geographical, and political context of the Sahel region, bringing together in its territory a true crossroads of cultures. Marked by various processes linked to globalization and by the reference to Mauritanian or other countries' cultural heritages, the works of the eleven artists present in the exhibition are an expression of the rich and fascinating cultural hybridization that defines the capital, Nouakchott, where these creators live most of the time.

After being at Casa Árabe's headquarters in Madrid from the 25th of February to the 15th of May, it was on display at the Casa Árabe headquarters in the city of Cordoba from the 26th of May to the 16th of September. 

Now it is coming to Casa África, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where it can be visited from 7 October 2022 to 8 January 2023.

Download dossier of the exhibition  [ES-FR-ÁR]


Other events

  • 7 October

On the occasion of the opening, there will be a round table discussion at 19:00h, with the participation of four of the artists in the exhibition: Mamadou Anne, El Moctar Sidi Mohamed "Mokhis", Mohamed Sidi and Moussa Abdallah Sissako, as well as the curator, Aïcha Janeiro. 

The opening of the exhibition and a guided tour by the curator and the artists mentioned will follow at 20.00h.




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