Tag Archives: Anna van Densky

BRAFA 2022: Tribal art and “fetishes”

Brussels 17.06.2022 Anna Van Densky: As the centrepiece of its stand, Montagut Gallery will be presenting an exceptional Soninke statue, from the Dogon culture, Mali, thirteenth century.

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A selection of “fetishes” from the Democratic Republic of Congo will also be on display, at Didier Claes.
The exhibition “Nkisi” focuses on the beauty of these “force-objects” which, through the addition of
various elements, were magically charged and enabled access to their ritual function of divination and
communication with the spirits. Dalton Somaré will present a very graphic portrait mask,
Baule, Côte d’Ivoire, late nineteenth century, with traces of polychrome.

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The Guilhem Montagut Gallery has focused primarily on art from the early periods of tribal societies, with particular emphasis on African art. Since 1990, the gallery in Barcelona has provided private collectors and institutions with high quality pieces, offering the highest guarantees concerning value and authenticity. The gallery participates in a number of art fairs every year, including Feriarte in Madrid, Parcours des Mondes in Paris and Bruneaf in Brussels.

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The 67th edition of BRAFA, which will take place from Sunday, June 19th to Sunday, June 26th, 2022,
will open in the summer time season. From the first steps the visitors will be enchanted by a
richly-coloured decor welcoming them to daydream and contemplate. Elegantly flowered, covered with a unique carpet, and embellished by sculptures, paintings and drawings by our Belgian guest of honour, Arne
Quinze, the Fair will welcome 115 Belgian and international exhibitors spread over two Palaces at Brussels Expo, an emblematic and historic venue.

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Whilst this change of scenery has undoubtedly breathed new life into BRAFA, the Fair 2022 has also
retained its essential values: quality, authenticity and eclecticism. Collectors will be able to explore
the aisles where long-standing galleries and 18 new exhibitors will be displayed in a circuit that
promotes discovery and a mix of styles.

Tripoli GNA obstructs Europarl debate

Anna van Densky from Brussels. As a result of the considerable diplomatic effort of the Government of National Accord (GNA, Tripoli) mission in Brussels, the public event with H.E.Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Libyan Interim government Abdulhadi Ibrahim Lahweej (pictured) posted by MEP Fulvio Martusciello (EPP, Italy), has been occluded. The Italian MEP initiate has been aimed at engaging in conversation with the Libyan top diplomat in search of avenues for peace in torn by conflict country, supporting efforts of establishing the meaningful dialog among rivals for political power.

However the GNA obstruction of the dialogue, reaching European Parliament premises in Brussels, opposing exchange of views between the MEP with the Minister, casts a long shadow on Tripoli administration, conforming the worst assessments of the experts, claiming the situation has degenerated. and the capital is overpowered by Muslim Brotherhood militia, imposing their ambition on Fayez Al-Sarraj, dabbed their “hostage“. The protracted devastating for the Libyans conflict serves primary the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood, considered by the Libyan parliament as terrorist group, and subsequently the major obstacle to reconciliation and peace. (Image below: sign against Muslim Brotherhood in streets of Tripoli).

Te rejection of the dialogue between rival Libyan political centre undermines the position of the EU, so far supporting Chairman Fayez Al Sarraj, howerver this support by no means is la carte blanche for Tripoli administration policies and actions. The blunt rejection of the attempts to establish a dialogue is seen by experts and the opponents of al-Sarraj as his ultimate submission to Muslim Brotherhood influences, which further degrade Libyan statehood, depriving it of avenues for restoration.

The de-constructive position of GNA is also raising questions of viability of future conference on Libya proposed by the German diplomacy. But not only, because peace in Libya is essential for stability and security in Maghreb and Sahel.

Since overthrowing of Gaddaif regime, the terrorist threat in Maghreb has risen 300 percent, with a dramatic impact on sub-Saharan Africa, namely Sahel, where the EU along with France and Germany supports G5 – five nations alliance, fighting terrorism. The future head of the European diplomacy Josep Borrell has been atmost clear when stating that peace in Libya is key element for security and stability of Europe.

The dictatorial impulses of Al-Sarraj administration, establishing their power through exclusion of the political opponents, and occluding debate, as it happened in case of MEP Martusciello initiative, serve as the convincing evidence of growing influence of Muslim Brotherhood in Tripoli. which further degrades Libyan statehood, depriving it of avenues for revival.

AMENDEMENT: image on display Minister Lahweej at European Parliament, Brussels, 15 October 2019, @AlexandreLouvet.

Kendell Geers ventures African mask philosophy

South African conceptual artist Kendell Geers presents African masks in unconventional way to evoke re-evaluation of cultural heritage of the continent, shifting from outdated perception of  “fetish” to artefact, and further to reading the profound philosophical meaning of the ritual objects.

Concluding the exhibition IncarNations (BOZAR, Brussels)  debates took place on contemporary vision of African cultural heritage, and imminent need to shift away from the Colonial era patterns of exoticism to genuine understanding of meaning of African culture. Passionate proponent of African art,  Kendell Geers calls for abandoning Eurocentric system of assessment of cultural heritage, and regarding historic artefacts with African eyes.

Kendell Geers presentations of African masterpieces stretches beyond Africa, pointing to their universal spiritual strength, fearlessly confronting the most sensitive issues of Colonial past, and problems of the present dialogues between East, West and Africa to ensure transformations leading to engagements, empowering Africans, and reconstructing their rich cultural heritage.

The artist reflects upon dramatic history of colonisation of Africa, suggesting “negative” overpowers “positive” in synergy of two continents, until Europeans keep their prejudices and fantasies, and desires rooted in the bygone era.


The exhibition IncarNations created by the artist Kendell Geers in co-operation with the Congolese art collector Sindika Dokolo has challenged a traditional outlook on African culture, proposing Afrocentric perspective. It took place in Brussels Art Centre BOZAR from 



Killing wolves: En Marche! to Middle Ages

Anna van Densky, OPINION.

The presidency of Emmanuel Macron has been ‘inaugurated’ in a Middle Ages tradition of killing ‘evil’ wolves. Difficult to imagine that it can happen in France of the 21 century, when progressive humanity is increasingly concerned by ecological catastrophe of destruction of ecosystems, and extinction of rare species.

The ‘licence to kill’ has been granted by Nicolas Hulot, the Minister of Ecological Transition (‘transition’ where to?..), and a magnificent young wolf was shot by a hunter in Savoy, as if French have no other entertainments in Digital Age then to retreat in Neanderthals pleasures depriving sensuous beings of life. It is still unclear why a new French government gave up to the darkest instincts of hunters, instead of implementing protection of endangered species programme in line with the EU Lisbon Treaty, directly supportive of animal welfare. The ‘collaterals’ of the killings of the such masterpieces of nature as wolves result in spotting the government’s image with blood stains of innocent victims.

Although less and less numerous in France, the hunters are still well-organized, and rich. Conscious of unfavorable public opinion,  they devote a great attention to lobby of their passion to kill, reaching the highest levels of power. This minority of less than 2% of the French dictates its law to the majority. The hunting lobby influence reaches the National Assembly and the Senate, where they are supported by 250 parliamentarians, continuing to vote in favor of hunting. 250 parliamentarians supporting just 2% of the French demonstrates the power of hunter’s lobby, and the flaws of the political system, acting in a total neglect of the opinion of the majority of French citizens, negative towards hunting as exercise in cruelty, incompatible  with modern ideas of nature conservation.

This week the killed young  wolf  joined the ‘cemetery’ of 38 corpses exterminated  in France under the levy quota for the period from July 2016 to 30 June 2017.
Cap Loup, a collective of associations for the protection of the wolf in France, had spoken out against this decision.

The Cap Loup is supported by the other animal protection associations. The Foundation of Brigitte Bardot was eloquent in reacting on the wolf killings.

“The wolf is a protected specie, but in France it is the scapegoat of all evils” – said Christophe Marie, representing Foundation Bardot. He lamented the disgrace of killings, and the prejudice against the wolves, caused by ignorance.  Recent statements of the mayor of Artigues is an  illustration of this approach, the politician accused a wolf of being a cause for the violent fires that currently ravage the south of France in Var province. “Even a legendary fairy-tale author Perrault would not try it!” – Marie ironises.

“The Brigitte Bardot Foundation finances methods of protecting herds which have proved their effectiveness, yet Nicolas Hulot refuses to receive us to talk about. The urgency is to stop this war against nature which is only victims and no winner, Nicolas Hulot has aroused hopes, since taking office, but causes only disappointment and despair” – Marie underlined.

Respectful of the Bardot Foundation initiative to protect herds against the wolves, one should keep in mind, that they are not ‘evil’ wolves, but hunters who on average kill 30 million species a year, according to French National office of hunting and wild fauna (ONCFS). Among them: 57 044 deers; 551 055 roe deers; 585 587 wild bores. What a massacre! Some stuck in Middle Ages in their minds…