Through the title Mother Tongue, Erheriene-Essi thinks about how the direct understanding of this term is much more complex now, in a time when people travel and relocate much more than in the past. When considering the African (and more) diasporas, the relation to the mother tongue is also interfered by the legacies of colonialism. Native languages were suppressed by the occupying powers to a degree that many children were given western names rather than names in their mother languages. And parents in the diaspora were discouraged to teach their children to speak or even listen to the mother tongue, often with threats that it would negatively interfere with the development of the child. This collection of paintings are vessels charged with the task of remembering –– by tracing the overlaps and the differences between those within the diaspora.
Esiri Erheriene-Essi – Mother Tongue
April 19, 2023 - May 27, 2023
September 7, 2023 - December 16, 2023