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Spotlight Series

Spotlight: C&

This summer, Daily Serving is shining a light on some arts publications that we admire. Today’s interview from C& is with Mozambican artist Euridice Kala: “Art-making is difficult anywhere, and especially so on the African continent. My first instinct is to be an artist and to be as carefree as possible; however, when you are a young Black woman from Africa (excepting perhaps South Africa and Nigeria), it is really, really hard.” This conversation was originally published on May 5, 2016.

Euridice Kala. A Conversation I, Entre-de-Lado, 2013. Courtesy of the Artist and C&.

Euridice Kala. A Conversation I, Entre-de-Lado, 2013. Courtesy of the Artist and C&.

C&: What were the artistic influences that you experienced growing up?

Euridice Kala: My childhood was a training ground for what I do now. Although my mother, Ana Arrone, was not an artist herself, she exposed me to art. She would bring me books to read, musicians to listen to—she was a reference for the tastes I developed in music and for my visual preferences. She would talk about how young people were feeding their thirst for culture, music, and art in the early days of independence in Mozambique. We listened to Bob Marley, Kool and the Gang, [Queen’s] Freddie Mercury, Prince, and many others. She was able to provide me with an entire world to which I would escape whenever the real world became too rough or too stale. And this entry into a trans-cultural space and language has influenced the manner in which I am approaching life. Although she passed away in my late teenage years, she was able to instill an insatiable curiosity in me. She was magic…

C&: Your work Will See You in December…Tomorrow portrays a conversation with your grandfather about his memories of colonial Mozambique. What was that like for you? And what kind of stories do you want to tell through the different media you use—from photography to video to performance?

EK: My relationship with my granddad (Armando Arrone) is one that has remained with me over the years. We’ve always been friends and shared football matches and time in his carpenter’s workshop experimenting with wood, while he would tell stories of colonial Mozambique. I am a proxy war child, born during a period that was very challenging for all Mozambicans. Maputo was crowded by UN workers and the country was on the brink of democracy. I have inherited a city and a country that were formed without considering people like me. Our constitution and laws took a long time to develop—such as the legality around same-sex relationships, which was only revised in 2015; or the rape laws that decriminalize the perpetrator if he marries the victim; or, last but not least, the late developments in family law that were, until very recently, governed by the Catholic church. Outdated laws passed during the colonial era still pervade my experience as a Mozambican living today and give me insight into colonial times. The work Will See You in December…Tomorrow mirrors these connections with our colonial history and explores what has been unconsciously appropriated or adopted into our national constructs.

Continue reading the conversation here.