Hablemos de Reparaciones (Let’s Talk Reparations)

Hablemos de Reparaciones (Lets Talk Reparations) exhibition results from a residency at Lugar a Dudas, in Cali (Colombia), and seeks to touch on perspectives regarding both America and Europe colonial histories (in its still open wounds and economical accounts to be dealt with). It also takes as a starting point on Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo’s piece “Agarrando el pueblo (Vampires of Poverty” –  1977), a manifesto of the Pornomiseria movement (i.e. the attempt to denounce the western exploitation of misery, and related stereotypical photos / films to be sold on the international broadcasting market).

But, instead of repeating that same denouncing gesture over such types of exploitation, and following the common discourse that South American countries were again flourishing lands of opportunities and wealth, the show searched to explore the other side of the ‘colonial coin’, that one based on the idea of abundance of wealth to be “developed and explored”, in covered policies which flattens the huge inequalities existing and prevents the opening of a space for serious attempt at quantifying reparations due as well as quantifying the effects of the many issues still pending, such as illicit financial transactions, unfair trade agreements and other phenomena tied to contemporary colonialism.

In the exhibition, found printed matter, texts, cultural objects and video, are arranged and intertwined through a multilevel display — a recurring method in the artist’s practice — where different narratives and materials gain new statuses, both as presences, narratives and representations. by questioning the codes, icons and images produced within a condition of subordination faced by many Latin American cultures, and liberating them from the equation that sets the aesthetic values through which we identify wealth and poverty still today.

Exhibited at
Prometeo Gallery, Milano, 2016. Curated by Matteo Luchetti.

Afastando el Pueblo, Fantasmas de la Riqueza.
Beto Shwafaty, 2016, HD, color, sound 21′.
Shot in Cali, Colombia, support by Premio Foco Bradesco Art Rio & Lugar a Dudas.