Film Program
Film Screening + Talk

Global Museum Launch Middle East Premiere
White Cube

Online
Saturday, April 17 – Saturday, April 24, 2021

In collaboration with Sharjah Art Foundation, The Africa Institute is pleased to be jointly hosting the Global Museum Launch Middle East Premiere of White Cube, followed by a multidisciplinary discussion about the film and the project’s implications. The online event is free to attend. The film will be available to stream for free on this page on April 17, 2021 at 8:00 pm Gulf Standard Time (GST), followed by a debate at 9:30 pm GST. The film will also be available for on demand streaming from April 18 – 24 for a nominal fee of $5 USD, on the link below. The proceeds from streaming are returned to Cercle d'Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CAPTC) who will use the funds to buy back more land in Lusanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Click here to Register

Watch trailer

White Cube from Renzo Martens on Vimeo.

White Cube is a feature-length film that tells the story of the CATPC -- a cooperative of plantation workers based on a former Unilever plantation -- in Lusanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Documenting their success in ending the destructive system of monoculture on their land, the film follows the CATPC from their origin in 2014, together with prominent environmental activist René Ngongo, the founder of Greenpeace Congo. Some members of the CATPC make sculptures from river mud which are then 3D scanned and reproduced with cocoa and palm oil in Amsterdam--the world’s largest cocoa port--before being exhibited at well-known galleries and museums worldwide. With the income generated from the sales of these artworks, the workers are able to buy back the land that had been annexed by Unilever. Currently, CATPC have purchased 85 hectares of land, which they are transforming into lush and ecologically diverse post-plantation gardens.

Directed by Renzo Martens in collaboration with CATPC, the film is a poignant and provocative story about art as a powerful tool for inclusivity and decolonization.

White Cube (2020)
Director: Renzo Martens
Netherlands, Belgium
Documentary | 79 minutes
English, French, Lingala with English and Arabic subtitles

Discussion

Following the free screening on April 17, there will be a discussion that focuses on some of the central issues and implications of the project and film. The speakers include Renzo Martens, director of White Cube (2020) and Artistic Director of the Institute for Human Activities; Ced’art Tamasala, artist and member of the Cercle d'Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC). The discussion will be moderated by Surafel Wondimu, Assistant Professor, Centre for African Studies and College of Performing and Visual Arts at Addis Ababa University and Okwui Enwezor Postdoctoral Fellow in Visual Culture, Performance Studies and Critical Humanities at The Africa Institute.

The discussion will take place via Zoom and the link will be posted here on this page. Attendees can register for the film and talk via this Zoom link. The discussion will be held in English and French and simultaneous translation into Arabic and English will be provided. The discussion will also be recorded and published on this page afterwards.

Click here to Register

Speakers

Ced’art Tamasala is a Lusanga-based artist and Vice President of the Cercle d'Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC) since its formation in 2014.

Renzo Martens is an Amsterdam and Kinshasa-based artist and filmmaker. In 2010, he co-founded the Institute for Human Activities (IHA) in Lusanga, of which he has been appointed artistic director. The IHA is the initiator of a series of gentrification programs, from which the inhabitants of the region can benefit economically and financially.

Surafel Wondimu Abebe is the Inaugural Okwui Enwezor Postdoctoral Fellow in Visual Culture, Performance Studies and Critical Humanities. Wondimu is an assistant professor at the Centre for African Studies and College of Performing and Visual Arts, and a researcher at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa University.

More about the Global Premiere:

Between March 24–April 24, White Cube is being launched at more than 15 international institutions in a four-week event during which the film will be projected daily onto the walls of the White Cube built by the workers on their land in Lusanga, DRC. Participating institutions include National Museum (Kinshasa), Sharjah Art Foundation (Sharjah), The Africa Institute (Sharjah), KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), SCCA (Tamale), African Artists’ Foundation (Lagos), V-A-C (Moscow), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Wiels (Brussels), ICA (London), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Picha (Lubumbashi), MPavilion (Melbourne), Museum MACAN (Jakarta) and White Cube (Lusanga).


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