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CATPC - Outside the White Cube 

CATPC: Ced'Art Tomasola, Mattieu Kasiama, Le Cercle d'art de  travailleurs plantation congolaise, Janke Brands, Institute for Human  Activities 

Historically, plantations have funded the building of many  Euroamerican museums. Art was an opportunity for plantation  shareholders to whitewash the violence of the plantation system.  To this day, plantations in the global south are closely linked to art  production. Rainforests are cut down and replaced by  monocultures, leaving depleted landscapes and impoverished  populations. Value extracted from these plantations is reinvested  in museums in New York, Dakar and elsewhere, leaving plantation  workers empty-handed. Instead of combatting inequality, art  reinforces it. The wager of the sister institutions Congolese  Plantation Workers Art Collective (CATPC) and the Institute for  Human Activities is that art can indeed combat inequality. Rather  than (critically) rehearsing the problem, they put art's capacity to  better use. Art's incapacity to attract capital, visibility and  legitimization is put to strategic purposes. By reversing the usual  supply chains of Contemporary Art, Congolese plantation workers  have begun buying back their own land, hectare by hectare. This  isn't art that points to inequality. It is art that serves to build  inclusive, ecological post-plantations. 

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