WE DEY means WE ARE*
Vienna is a place where the contemporary art scene mostly focuses on Euro-American perspectives. Artists of Colour and Black artists are kept mostly isolated from the contemporary art scene. On rare occasions they are invited into these spaces but under specific framework of having to fulfill white desires for “exotic” bodies of work.
WE DEY X SPACE aims to change this uneven power structure within the Viennese art scene by creating a self-organised art space in which BPoC artists are able to speak up, to show their works in a self-determined way.
Amoako Boafo and Sunanda Mesquita saw the necessity of searching for a community for and by Black and People of Color artists, a space to connect, to network, to discuss strategies, and empower each other. WE DEY– platform for contemporary arts — was founded in 2013 awarded with the kültüř gemma! scholarship of the city Vienna in 2014. In 2016 Jaqueline Ejiji became a crucial member and until today, the collective is still growing steadily.
We are proud to say that we have come a long way. In May 2017, WE DEY found a permanent residence at x space in Vienna. The first exhibition Detoxing Masculinity with works by Amoako Boafo took place between 22nd of June and 8th of July 2017 and marked also the opening of X SPACE.
WE DEY x space is a self – organised art space in Vienna dedicated to amplify the art and culture production of Queer/Trans*/Inter/Black People/People of Color. WE DEY aims to centre marginalised voices, perspectives, knowledge(s) and experiences from different Diasporas. WE DEY x space hosts exhibitions, workshops, kitchen table talks and film screenings around the topics of decolonial art production, community, self-care and empowerment.
* in pidgin – an appropriation of the colonial language english which is spoken in former British colonies such as Ghana, Nigeria and by the West African diaspora both on the continent and living abroad.