Sindika Dokolo repatriates African heritage
#IncarNations exhibition of African artefacts intends to break the established patterns, presenting African in its aesthetics magnitude, but regard it as a philosophy. The synergy between Congolese art collector Sindika Dokolo (47) and South African artist Kendell Geers (51) produced a concept of appreciation of continent’s cultural heritage bypassing traditional outlook. (Image above: Sindika Dokolo (right) and Nadia Yala Kisukidi, philosopher, BOZAR, October 4, 2019).
Three months event in Brussels prestigious cultural centre BOZAR has concluded with debates on the future of African art heritage, and its crucial role in nation building process, inspiring communities to evolve, moving away from colonial past, including break-away of imagination. (Image above: Chokwe Mask, Angola, #Incarnations, BOZAR)
Sindika Dokolo is convinced that in globalisation context, assembling African art and repatriating the artefacts to Africa is a significant part of the inter-African discussion on cultural heritage, restoring the unique role of African people in ensemble of nations.
Determined to shift away from “exoticism” and detachment of the artefacts from the origins, Congolese Dokolo attempts to reconstruct African history in its original purity of ante-Colonial era, before Portuguese entered Congo.
Dokolo insists that African artefacts are more than objects, but crucial elements in inter-African debate on cultural heritage, restoring the forgotten chapter of African history, and projecting the unique profile of African identity.
The Congolese collector underlines, that the very same pieces esteemed by Western art experts as masterpieces, are regarded by many Africans as expressions of “savagery” of ante-Colonial era, preferring to see them to be destroyed and forgotten. From this point of view the establishment of African art museums in Africa will help the complex process of learning to appreciate proper African heritage. But not only, because Dokolo is convinced art is the unique bridge that will empower Africans to “love” themselves, and heal the scars left by savageries of Colonialism.
Image below: Sindika Dokolo in search of lost African art, #IncarNations exhibition