AFRIKA 010 ‘a must see’

‘AFRIKA 010’ is an exhibition at the Wereldmuseum in Willemskade, Rotterdam untill early next year. Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb opened the exhibition, noting that he was often called ‘the first Muslim Mayor’, but not ‘the first African Mayor’ of Rotterdam.  Along with about six hundred others, mostly Africa-lovers, I enjoyed the exciting and most interesting display and supporting activities. Rotterdam’s Ntjam Rosie, Ambassador of AFRIKA 010, performed as did others before we could go and see what was on offer.

Afrika 010Feasting our eyes, we met large photos of Rotterdam’s Muller trading post at the mouth of the Congo River around 1890, various sorts of masks, exquisitely carved elephant horns, intriguing ‘power statues’, music instruments like a balafon, jewellery, large men’s robes, wigs modelled after Rotterdam buildings and much more.

On exhibition were top pieces of Wereldmuseum’s Afrika collection, which had not been shown for long and portray the connections between Rotterdam and Afrika. The Wereldmuseum was founded in 1883 just before the Berlin Afrika Conference and the subsequent Western ‘scramble for Afrika’!

The output of ‘AFRIKA 010’ is not only the exhibition, but also a ‘must have’ magazine, describing not only the background of the exhibition but also the various African Diaspora groups in Rotterdam. Moreover the AFRIKA 010 exhibition is the start of a series of other activities and exhibitions in 2016 throughout Rotterdam. – Ato Bob.

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