Unseeing Traces is a community project developed by IMMA in collaboration with New Communities Partnership (NCP), Ireland’s largest independent migrant-led national network. Inspired by a unique collection of hundreds of traditional artefacts inherited from the Kingdom of Kongo, by Nasser Aidara, NCP Community Development Coordinator, these artefacts will be exhibited at IMMA in dialogue with works from the IMMA Collection that rely on activation to uncover their cultural significance.
The former Kingdom of Kongo (1300 – 1900s) was a large dominion covering present day Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and the Congo Republic. The artefacts and artworks share a relational quality. Their meanings emerge from everyday rituals or special ceremonies – each carry a trace of past performances which can be re-activated through an encounter. Exploring displacement, colonialism, race and representation, an active programme of workshops, tours, and talks will engage new audiences and communities, furthering IMMA’s ambition to be a radically public space.
Unseeing Traces is a collaboration with New Communities Partnership, Ireland’s largest independent migrant-led national network and is generously supported by Ecclesiastical Insurance’s Movement for Good Awards, as part of the Benefact Group
New Communities Partnership
New Communities Partnership is Ireland’s largest independent migrant-led national network of more than 150 immigrant-led groups comprising 65 nationalities. Its membership includes community and voluntary groups from Asian, Middle Eastern, North African, European, the Caribbean, South American and African backgrounds. New Communities Partnership enables migrant communities to engage with all aspects of Irish social, political and cultural life on an equal footing, thereby maximizing the leadership capacity within new communities in Ireland.
The Benefact Group, Movement for Good Awards
Overseen and owned by Benefact Trust, Benefact Group is a diverse family of specialist financial services businesses, united by a common purpose to give all available profits to charity and good causes. As one member of the Benefact Group family, Ecclesiastical Insurance runs the Movement for Good Awards programme, giving millions of pounds to charitable causes in the areas of community, education & skills, environment & climate, and heritage & arts since its inception across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Since 2019, they have donated over £4.75 million to more than 2,200 charities through the Movement for Good Awards.
Nasser Aidara is a former refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He worked as community development worker and a human right activist since coming to Ireland in 1997. He was a Chairperson of the African Refugee Network (ARN) and non-executive director of the Irish Refugee Council (IRC).
Nasser come from a family of antique dealers in the DRC. After the passing of his father in 2021, he inherited a large collection of masks, statues and other artefacts from different parts of the DRC, as well as other part of central Africa, accumulated over 50 years by his father.
His vision is to introduce African art to the Irish public. Although wrongly called tribal or primitive art, he believes that African art can have an open dialogue with European art, finding a common ground in order to mend a difficult cultural relationship in the light of past colonial practices of looting African art and sending them to museums across Europe. Nasser is currently working as a Coordinator of the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) with New Community Partnership in Dublin.
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