A washing line breaking perspectives
In September 2009 I travelled to Burkina Faso, West Africa in order to hold an exhibition in my uncle’s village, situated one hour from the capital Ouagadougou, in the outskirts of Koulgorin. There, my uncle Issaca lives with his three wives, and 10 children. He is head of the village and stands above his cousins Adama, Karim and Seidu, all with three wives and a collaboration of 27 children. Karim left the village to work on a plantation in the Ivory Coast and Seidu passed away this summer leaving his 10 children fatherless. I wanted to show an exhibition in the village as I realised that my family there knew nothing of our life here. When we arrive there, nazarrra is screamed by the children, which means white people, as my mother being a Colombian stands out among the family, and my hair, clothes and features don’t quite match theirs. This half of my family is from the Mossi tribe, and they speak Moorè. They have no idea how I live, and what my London can be like. I wanted to show and share what I could with them. I wanted to make them my critics, curators, and audience.
Silvie Koanda currently lives and works in London. Born in Rome, she moved to London with her family in 1988.