A new museum and art space focusing on the worldwide inequalities and plight of plantation workers in the third world will be opened in Lusanga town in Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Congolese Plantation Workers Art League (CATPC) and the Amsterdam-based Institute for Human Activities (IHA) will inaugurate the museum on the former site of a Unilever palm oil plantation on April 21.
The White Cube space designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture will function as the cornerstone of the Lusanga International Research Centre on Art and Economic Inequality (LIRCAEI) in Lusanga.
A five-year plan for research dedicated to the empowerment of plantation workers across the global south will also be launched.
LIRCAEI is a joint initiative of CATPC and IHA. The research centre is dedicated to the transformation of former plantations into artistic spaces of beauty and ecological diversity.
The members of CATPC are plantation workers and artists, who create sculptures made of cacao and other works.
All profits from the sale of their sculptures go back to the Congo, where experimental, community-owned cacao and palm oil gardens are being established.
The aim is to retain profits within the community, to buy back land, and finance development.
The inauguration will include an Internet platform, marking the launch of the five-year plan.
It will include contributions from the plantation workers alongside artists Sammy Baloji, Marlene Dumas, Michel Ekeba, Eleonore Hellio, Carsten Holler, Irene Kanga, Mathieu Kasiama, Jean Katambayi, Jean Kawata, Mbuku Kimpala, Thomas Leba, Jeremie Mabiala, Daniel Manenga, Mega Mingiedi, Emery Mohamba, Cedrick Tamasala, Marlene Dumas and Luc Tuymans.
The recently published monograph dedicated to CATPC’s work will also be presented during the inauguration.
The White Cube will focus on exposing worldwide inequalities and generating a new and inclusive economic and ecological model to redress them.