Acknowledgement of the Sámi people

OCA acknowledges the Sámi as one people, and as the Indigenous people of the Fennoscandian region. On the land of this region, Sápmi, the Sámi people have lived since time immemorial, respectfully harvesting from nature by fishing, farming, hunting and following reindeer, amongst other activities.

Jul '21 – Aug '23

Afro-Nordic Collaborations

A series of partnerships with artists and organisations, both within Norway and globally, specifically aiming to strengthen relationships within Afro-Nordic communities in the arts.

The first element in the series is found in the online platform YPPĒ, founded by Norway-based Congolese artist and curator Nicole Rafiki. Initially created as an annual, bilingual, printed art journal in 2017, YPPĒ has transitioned into an online discursive space dedicated to debating and promoting artistic knowledge, and particularly supporting the work of African artists who explore and interrogate the concepts of womanhood and liminal gender identities. YPPĒ features a selection of textual and performative digital contributions co-curated with OCA, focusing on the role of the arts in generating healing processes to counter the historic and ongoing colonial experiences of Black communities today.

Contributing writers featured in this YPPĒ collaboration are:
Djamila Ribeiro

Duduzile Libazisa Sfiso Mathonsi

Minna Salami

Yaa Addae

The second element in the series is a five-week home-based OCA nominated residency programme in collaboration with Livingstone Office for Contemporary Art (LoCA)and Casa Ma. The residency collaboration will partner Afro-Nordic artists, community advocates and activists, scholars, and other arts practitioners with other peers around the world to work collaboratively in developing new and existing ideas including but not limited to: blackness in the digital world (digital healing, digital communities, surveillance): institutional representation, who is it for and what is its value: what is required to create the world – understood as a multilayer of communities – we want to live in now (investigating philosophies such as Afro -futurism, -nowism, -pessimism): the need to make colonial hierarchies and histories visible.

About the project

Norway and the Nordic region at large are home to rich artistic production by artists of the African diaspora: a truth that challenges the myth of homogeneity at the forefront of many assumptions of the Nordic cultural landscape. Today we find ourselves at a critical juncture, at which there is a lack of consensus around the language to be used to discuss this work and its context, and we thus see a need to develop it further through collaborative methods.

Furthermore, we are calling on ourselves and our institutional peers — including critics, editors, and publishers — to shift their perspective and to cede space and power in order to renew the narratives around this work.

OCA proposes a series of partnerships with artists and organisations, both within Norway and globally, with the specific aim of strengthening relationships within Afro-Nordic communities in the arts.

Our primary goal is to open a path for collaborations with agents already concerned with and working on the topics around the Afro diaspora in order to work jointly on re-thinking language, raising questions, and hacking tools so as to switch the narratives in the socio-political art scene.

The work is situated at the heart of national and international debates, seeking to critically examine artistic dialogues between peers from Black communities.

This endeavour is guided by and a continuation of OCA’s previous programmes that have challenged us to work from various vantage points in order to transform institutional praxis.

In recognising that we are at the beginning of establishing such relationships, OCA seeks to take a receptive approach to understanding what is needed for our surrounding communities to thrive. OCA’s commitment to its collaboration with Afro-Nordic artists is rooted in the understanding that specific contextual relationships exist between those of the African diaspora and the Nordic artistic and cultural landscape, and we uphold the notion that expressions of Blackness are multidimensional.