O Barco / The Boat

O Barco / The Boat

installation/performance by Grada Kilomba

01/16 - 23/30/22
Montjuïc. Plaça Margarida Xirgu

Show completed


01/16 at 13:00
01/16 at 14.00
Talk with the artist Grada Kilomba; the MACBA director Elvira Dyangani Ose and Tania Adam, journalist and cultural manager

Running time

Performance 50' approx.


Plaça Margarida Xirgu


Talk in Portuguese, English and Catalan with simultaneous translation


Free. Performance sold out

Grada Kilomba is poetic disobedience, the permanent conjugation in all tenses and arts of the verb to decolonise. Grada Kilomba is a Portuguese multidisciplinary artist, author of the emblematic book Plantation Memories: Episodes of Everyday Racism. She is one of the Resident Artists for the years 2021/22 of BoCA Biennial of Contemporary Arts de Lisboa.

O Barco / The Boat is an installation which stretches 32 meters along the river, forming the silhouette of the bottom of a ship. In Western imaginary, a boat is easily associated with glory, freedom and maritime expansion, described as “discoveries” but, in the artist's view, “a continent with millions of people cannot be discovered” nor “one of the longest and most horrendous chapters of humanity – Slavery – can be erased.” This first large-scale installation by Grada Kilomba carefully draw the archeology of a boat and the space created to accommodate the bodies of millions of Africans, enslaved by European empires. O Barco / The Boat becomes a garden of memory, in which poems rest on burnt wooden blocks, contemplating the future.

Grada Kilomba inaugurates this work with a performance, involving people of African descent from the city. The voices and bodies of the African diaspora become to the rhythm of gospel the central interpreters, with the musical production of Kalaf Epalanga. After the performance will take place a talk with the artist, the MACBA director Elvira Dyangani Ose and Tania Adam, journalist and cultural manager

Memory of colonisation
Who should write history? Is there only one history? Are we all involved in creating its narrative? Those are just some of the
questions surrounding the construction of our historical account of slavery and how Africa was colonised which we have to
address in the twenty-rst century. We invite you to have your say by sharing an image, a video, an audio recording or a text on social media using the hashtag #OBarcoMemòries. These thoughts will show how we have to re-explain ourselves as humanity, so that we can continue working towards all voices being represented in the creation of universal history.

What defines us? That is the question that is the focus of the 2022 edition of Katharsis, always associated with the origins of this special programme, in which we constantly ask ourselves what theatre is. Asking it ourselves means asking ourselves what we are as human beings and citizens. The boundaries that surround us create forms that define us politically, humanly, socially, culturally or artistically, even though we do not like some definitions, and we look for ways to change them from the fringes. This Katharsis features artists who use history, collective memory and even appearance to cross lines that make us rethink where we come from and where we are going.


Yeshihareg Comas Berga



Mary Akere

Ursula Benning

Ahyvin Bruno

Elodie Ehoussou

Uchenna Ezeomedo

Orlanda Guilande

Liviet Ojeda Llanes

Dora Okereka

Kate Omokaro

Joe Psalmist

Selma Uamusse Gomes

Barbara Wahnon


Ahylin Bruno

Djibril Ngom

Mamadou Ngom

Marta Trovoada

Mick Trovoada


Yhesley Bezerra


John Romão


Marta Cavaco


Luis Alcatrão (Ghost), Yhesley Bezerra and Tiago Silva (Ghost)


BoCA – Biennial of Contemporary Arts, maat – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden




Câmara Municipal de Lisboa / EGEAC, in the frame of Lisboa na Rua’21, and Africa Moment


O Barco / The Boat is a commissioned project by BoCA Biennial of Contemporary Arts 2021

© Bruno Simao
© Bruno Simao / BoCA Bienal
© Bruno Simao / BoCA Bienal
© Bruno Simao / BoCA Bienal
© Bruno Simao / BoCA Bienal
© Bruno Simao / BoCA Bienal
© Bruno Simao / BoCA Bienal
© Bruno Simao / BoCA Bienal

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