INDIGO WAVES AND OTHER STORIES: RE-NAVIGATING THE AFRASIAN SEA AND NOTIONS OF DIASPORA
praise your capacity to bury
our shipwrecks and ruined cities praise your watery grave human reef of bones ~
praise your capacity to remember
your library of drowned stories museum of lost treasures your vast archive of desire ~
praise your tidalectics
your migrant routes and submarine roots
Craig Santos Perez – excerpt from Praise Song for Oceania
Taking the stories and histories of the Indian Ocean as its departure point, the group exhibition Indigo Waves and Other Stories: Re-Navigating the Afrasian Sea and Notions of Diaspora brings together 13 contemporary artists, historians, filmmakers, musicians, writers and thinkers to investigate, unpack and shed light on some of the smaller and bigger historical, cultural and linguistic links between the continents of Africa and Asia. The exhibition approaches the Indian Ocean as a communal horizon from which to read Afrasian (that is, belonging to both Africa and Asia) histories of forced and unforced movement through currents of mercantile and colonial empire.
Ziwa Kuu, the Swahili Sea, the Afrasian Sea, the Indian Ocean, Ratnakara, Eastern Ocean, Indic Ocean or Bahari Hindi are just a few of the names used to characterise a body of water that has been dubbed the oldest continuum in human history. This water mass covers some 20% of the world’s total oceanic area and spreads between the East African coast, bordering Asia in the north, engulfing Australia in the east and stretching south to the Southern Ocean. There is much in a name, they say, but no single name seems to have the potential of encompassing, containing, signifying or expressing all that this body of water stands for, tells, sings or invokes. It is too complex, too deep, too vast and pregnant with a plenitude of histories, to carry just one name. What is for certain is that rather than divide, it connects geographies, cultures, peoples, languages, foods, sounds, winds, waters, economies, philosophies and more. The ocean is a fluid joint, a junction of and for affinities and realignments prior to nation-state allegiances.
Indigo Waves and Other Stories is guest curated by renowned art historians and curators Natasha Ginwala and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, with Michelangelo Corsaro.
Cetus Chin-Yun Kuo
Luvuyo Equiano Nyawose
Myriam Omar Awadi
Sancintya Mohini Simpson with Isha Ram Das
Shiraz Bayjoo in dialogue with Traci Kwaai
This exhibition is presented in partnership with Gropius Bau and SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin, and Vasl Artists’ Association, Karachi, amongst others.
Zeitz MOCAA’s curatorial exhibition and programming is proudly supported by Gucci.