[June 12 2014]
After the opening of the exhibition Precarious Imaging: Visibility and Media Surrounding African Queerness that is part of the independent program of Dak’art 2014, the 11th Biennial of Contemporary African Art (May 9th – June 8th) and co-organized by Koyo Kouoh and the independent curator Ato Malinda, the contemporary art center was vandalized on May 13th. On May 31, Raw Material Company was forced to interrupt the exhibition due to continuous pressure and acts of violence from the religious community and particularly from the Islamic NGO Jamra. The exhibition had an emphasis on homosexuality and the growing homophobia in African societies.
We are against such pressures on any cultural institution dedicated to promoting the principles of artistic expression and freedom. And we consider that it is the duty of the authority to defend any public or private initiative endeavored in promoting these principles. The programming of art institutions is done for the construction of a civil and public space of debate and of a critical discussion around the experiences we share.
Art institutions are for freedom, respect, and exchange; never for repression, violence nor pressure. We support CIMAM’s wish to encourage debate and civilized exchange of ideas as well as their deep concern for the turn of the actions against the freedom of artistic expressions and of the values of dialogue defended by the Raw Material Company. Click here to sign the petition.