Women on Aeroplanes will present new work by artists Lungiswa Gqunta, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum and Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, observing the largely unrecognised role of women in struggles for liberation, their participation in transatlantic networks and key voices in revolutionary socio-political movements that helped to achieve postcolonial nation-states in Africa.
What makes it possible for certain individuals’ stories to prevail, while others remain invisible or disappear into oblivion? What are the intricacies of institutional or structural erasure? And how does the unveiling of such silenced narratives contribute to collective thinking?
The Showroom and The Otolith Collective will raise these questions in a curatorial format in the London iteration of Women on Aeroplanes – an international multi-part research and exhibition project, which loosely borrows its title from the novel by Ghanaian writer Kojo Laing, and its ethos from his implosive deconstructed syntax.
Lungiswa Gqunta will present a new series of drawings reflecting her research into the uses of sound and song as a mode of resistance to the often hidden structures of violence persisting as a result of systemic legacies of colonialism. Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum has been commissioned to create a full-scale mural inspired by the writer Bessie Head (1937-1986). Born of a wealthy white woman and a black domestic worker in South Africa, Head rejected the brutality of Apartheid by exiling herself to the village of Serowe in Botswana. Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa will create an archive – a type of temporary repository for her research into the life of Amy Ashwood Garvey (1897-1969).
Led by curators Annett Busch, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Magda Lipska, the overarching Women on Aeroplanes research and exhibition project is conceived as five iterations at five different spaces in Africa and Europe (2017–19): The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA, Lagos), Iwalewahaus, University of Bayreuth, ifa Gallery Berlin, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, The Showroom and The Otolith Collective, London.
3 October 2018 – 26 January 2019
The Showroom 63 Penfold St, Marylebone, London NW8 8PQ, open Wednesday to Saturday
Image Credit: Women on Aeroplanes Inflight Magazine #1, 2018 with the portraits of Muluemebet Emiru (left) and Touria Chaoui (right). Design by Very (Alex Papadopoulou, Marie Schoppmann and Nathalie Landenberger)