Memory of fire
“The dry grass will set fire to the damp grass”
– African proverb brought to the Americas by slaves.
Identity on the Move:
Cultural identity isn’t like a precious vase standing silently in a museum showcase. It’s always moving, changing and being challenged by reality that is itself in perpetual movement. I am what I am, but I’m also what I do to change what I am. There’s no such thing as cultural purity, any more than there is racial purity.
Luckily, every culture is made up of some elements that come from afar. What defines a cultural product—whether it be a book, a song, a popular saying or a way of playing football—is never where it comes from but what it is. A typical Cuban drink like a daiquiri has nothing Cuban in it: the ice comes from somewhere else, just like the lemon, the sugar and the rum. Christopher Columbus first brought sugar to the Americas from the Canary Islands. Yet the daiquiri is considered quintessentially Cuban. The churro fritters of Andalusia originated in the Middle East. Italian pasta first came from China. Nothing can be defined or derided on the basis of its origin. The important thing is what is done with it and how far a community identifies with something that symbolizes its favourite way of dreaming, living, dancing, playing or loving.
This is the positive side of the world: a constant intermingling that produces new responses to new challenges. But because of forced globalization, there’s a clear trend these days towards uniformity. This trend comes largely from the ever-greater concentration of power in the hands of large media groups.
The first voices
“And the days began to walk. And they, the days, made us. And thus we were born, the children of the days, the discoverers, life’s searchers. (GENESIS, according to the Mayas.)”
The woman and the man dreamed that God was dreaming about them.
God was singing and clacking his maracas as he dreamed his dream in a cloud of tobacco smoke, feeling happy but shaken by doubt and mystery.
The Makiritare Indians know that if God dreams about eating, he gives fertility and food. If God dreams about life, he is born and gives birth.
In their dream about God’s dream, the woman and the man were inside a great shining egg, singing and dancing and kicking up a fuss because they were crazy to be born, In God’s dream happiness was stronger than doubt and mystery. So dreaming, God created them with a song:
“I break this egg and the woman is born and the man is born.
And together they will live and die. But they will be born again. They will never stop being born, because death is a lie,”
This is the way different people see the world differently. It is like unique vision of the world told unconsciously, reflecting the culture and its heritage. At this exhibition we are telling our stories.
Rise awareness to see the world differently. And we are opening the communication here and building bridges between people.
About the exhibition:
The exhibition is the first event of Artist Open Studios Day project. It will be opened for 2 weeks to become the connecting platform of local Plaistow artists’ representation. 28th of October many houses and studios will become galleries open for the public.
As Artist Open Studios project is part of Newham Heritage festival, we are giving the special attention to the cultural and artistic heritage of Plaistow. We will be featuring artists who are living and creating locally or they are related with local community. They will be the representation and reflection of our local community. The goal is to connect and introduce them to the residents, and this exhibition is open invitation to the following workshops, events and finally Open Studios day.
For the next 2 weeks Floating Artland artists Indra Gavenaite, Marcelo Rodriguez, Fabiola Retamozo and Luis Fabrizio Garcia Rios will exhibit their works at Plaistow Library. Artists originally come from Lithuania and Bolivia. This unexpected cultural mix will produce one consistent result to represent diverse Newham borough. Here the most different cultures are living together and daily trying to find the conversation between each other. Together we are building new and unique heritage for Newham and Plaistow.
Lithuanian and Bolivian artists Indra Gavenaite, Marcelo Rodriguez, Fabiola Retamozo and Luis Fabrizio Garcia Rios were exhibiting visual art pieces and conceptual videos to the public. The event was enriched with the traditional Andean music collective “Sikuris sin Fronteras” and Pagan Lithuanian ensemble “Saduto”. Folkloric collectives are building bridges not only between far away countries and cultures but also between past and future.
Memory of Fire – the concept created by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano. There is a fire of ancestors, the first voices that are inside us and it is up to us to bring these roots up. By rising the awareness and through art process we can inspire other people to do the same (set memory of fire on others).
Some of the videos of the event
Edgaras Anisimenko Photography