“Recording Our Histories” by Rudy Loewe
31th of January – 6th of February 2019

We are excited to welcome Rudy Loewe for an one week art residency & solo exhibition at WE DEY x SPACE.



In conversation with Rudy Loewe
Sunanda Mesquita for WE DEY

How would you like to be introduced to someone who doesn’t know you or your art practice yet?

I am a black non binary artist who works with themes such as Diaspora, identities and histories. I am a storyteller. Much of my work is just about finding the best way to tell the story.

How would you position yourself in the art world? Do you feel any connection to current or past people or movements (also outside the art world)?

It’s tricky because in many ways I feel outside of the (white) art world. But at the same time I’ve had a privileged art education so it’s not that simple. I am interested in black artists who are working in different contexts, but sharing some overlapping themes such as cultural identity; gender; sexuality; and histories. The artists or art movements that I feel a connection to is a reflection of those that I in general feel in community with.

What role does community play in your practice and how did you come about connecting both art and community practices?

It was important for me to find a community that reflected my QTIBPOC identity, before it became important to me to think about art community. My relationship to community has been a massive influence on the kinds of work I want to make, so it feels impossible to separate the two.

What were your favourite moments/projects and what difficulties did you come across?

One aspect of my work that I love is getting to work with people, collecting narratives and thinking about how to make them into something visual. There is a challenge in this though. I also have my own subjectivity and agenda, and it’s difficult to separate that and try to think about not letting it influence how I work with other people’s stories.

Can you tell us a little bit about Brown Island and what it was/is all about?

Brown Island is a BPoC student group that I have been part of at Konstfack (an art school) in Stockholm. We created a space for ourselves to critique the institution and also think about what it is that we needed in that environment. We are now continuing the work inside and outside of the institution.

What sparked your interest in applying for the Open Call at WE DEY x SPACE?

The thing that interested me the most was to work in a PoC focused space, organised by PoC. I feel like in a European context, this doesn’t happen very often.

Can you tell us more about your project “Recording our Histories” which you are realising at WE DEY x space?

One ongoing thread in my work is how we collect, document, preserve and edit our histories. I see this as a very political and subjective process. So I want to continue an exploration of how to create a space for oral histories that removes white men as the curators of history. Ideally I would love to have a long ongoing project that created a platform for PoC histories, and predominantly black histories, to take space, in a way that suits the owners of those histories. But this is not something I currently have the resources for! So I am collecting people’s histories at the moment and experimenting with how this can be presented.

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I really love how you open the discussion to the wider community, can it be read as a strategy to work against reproducing hierarchies within the BIPoC communities and/or deconstructing western notions of experts vs. amateurs?

In my work I think about how the constructors of mainstream history is often coming from white middle class, European men. I want to highlight that history is subjective, and in that we need to collect accounts from as many people as possible. I know that I can’t rely on middle class white men to tell the stories of BIPoC.

Where and how was your work presented before and what did you like about it/ what would you want to be different this time at WE DEY x space? What are your expectations?

My last exhibition was a solo show at Marabouparken in Stockholm. It was great to have a whole space that I could direct the viewer through. An important element to any exhibition I do, is that people feel like they can stay in the space and have a space to discuss.


Thank you so much! ❤



WE DEY: Annual Program 2018/19

In the beginning of 2018 WE DEY X SPACE announced its first Open Call for projects. We invited Black artists and artists of Color to apply with proposals for exhibitions, events, workshops, kitchen table talks and film screenings around the topics of decolonial art and knowledge production, community, self-care and empowerment.

We were overwhelmed by the amount and quality of proposals we received from all over the world, projects that center Queer/Trans*/Inter/Black People/People of Color and focus on utopian notions of community, belonging, healing and body politics. We thank all the artists & collectives who put so much time and thought into their proposals! Thank you all for affirming our vision on how important it is to self-organise and to continue creating a space for art and knowledge production by Queer/Trans*/Inter/Black People/People of Color.

We are looking forward to what is coming up until May 2019 (when the lease for WE DEY x space will expire): exhibitions by Nicole Suzuki, WE DEY kültür gemma! fellow Lydia Nsiah, NueNua AKA Ama Josephine Budge, Rudy Loewe, HAIR (Esther Ojo & Terisha Harris), Pêdra Costa& Jota Mombaça and @decolonial_killjoy, workshops and empowerment sessions by Noah Sow, Maisha Auma, Paola Bacchetta and Fatima El-Tayeb, filmscreenings curated by Nine Yamamoto, healing circle by Liaam Iman and of course our ongoing projects. Keep yourself posted on our website: WE-DEY.IN and on Facebook & Instagram.

We would like to thank the WE DEY collective for all their unrelentless effort, time, energy, love and care! Thanks to Jaqueline Ejiji, Esther Abiona Ojo, Janine Jembere, Nicole Suzuki, Amoako Boafo, and all of you who supported us within the past year and who continue to do so in the years to come! Despite the fact that we did receive hardly any public funding we managed to continue the fight for self-determined spaces for BPoC’s in Vienna because of all of you!


Sunanda Mesquita & Sushila Mesquita for WE DEY

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What you can do to support WE DEY:
* Financial support to pay our rent and bills, production costs for exhibitions, transport costs for artists & artist residencies, our publications,…

* Help us find a new space! As our lease will expire in May 2019, we are looking for new affordable spaces to continue our project

* Donate material to our Archive! Our longterm vision is to create an WE DEY Archive containing herstories of BPoC resistance in Vienna through community engagement and decolonial queer feminist approaches to archiving.



The Deadline is moving closer!! 1 week left to send in your submissions! We are looking forward to hear from you!

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Project Dates:

The duration of the projects can range from an evening session, a day, up to 2 weeks in 2018.

What we have to offer:

As a non-profit self-organised art space we offer our venue free of charge, we will support with online and printed publicity and logistical/technical support. We are happy to connect you to other BPoC Artists based in Vienna and to educational programmes that work in local schools. We will provide administrative and curatorial support. If you apply from outside of Vienna we can also offer a guest room in a queer housing project.

We are currently applying for travel costs & production costs, but we cannot promise any financial support yet. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Your application should include the following in one PDF file (in English or German):

  • Artist’s statement describing your practice and areas of interest (up to 250 words)
  • A minimum of 10 images of recent projects, with captions and a short description if necessary.
  • CV/Resume
  • project description including
    * a list of required equipment & technical support
    * preferred dates and links to relevant media (e.g. articles about your work, exhibitions)
    * Project goals & target groups (who is the project directed towards, is there an invitation policy, will the programme be open only to a specific group or public and why?)
  • cover sheet with name, contact address, e-mail and telephone numbers, website details if available.

Send your application to we.dey.in@gmail.com

DEADLINE: 14th of February 2018, 12pm.

more infos HERE


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During her solo show “Threads of Selves” at WE DEY x SPACE, Sophie Utikal will organize a workshop for creating a collective textile painting. Black People and People of Color are invited to come together to translate their feelings into symbolic imageries and to sew them together into one big piece of cloth. While stitching we will talk, relax and meditate on what it feels like to inhabit our bodies and how we navigate ourselves through our everyday life. Sophie will provide all material necessary. There will be drinks and snacks. The workshop is for free. All skills are welcome.

Please send us an email to register for the workshop: we.dey.in@gmail.com
Bring your BPoC friends ♥


WE DEY is proud to present the first solo show by Sophie Utikal. In her series “Threads of Selves” she transforms woven stories of her experiences and thoughts into stunning textile works. Her full body selfportraits aim to show a self confident, empowered woman of color healing herself from trauma. By tapping into generations of knowledge of textile storytelling she finds a way to release anxieties and fears while aiming to empower not only herself but other Women* of Color who share experiences of fighting back against white supremacy.

curated by Sunanda Mesquita (co-founder of WE DEY)

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(the artist will be present)
18.10- 6-9pm
19.10 6-9pm
25.10 5-7.30pm
26.10 6-9pm

WORKSHOP For BPoc’s only: “Stitching Stories”
22th of October: 2pm

29th October 6pm: doors open
6.30pm: presentation by Sophie Utikal

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Sophie Utikal (*1987 Tallahassee, Florida). Is now studying with Ashley Hans Scheirl, Gin Müller and Ruby Sircar at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She likes to work collectively on issues related to her own experiences. Departing from her own body, she tries to translate her experiences into words and images introducing a new possible order to them. It is about the reconstruction of the self. What seemed lost? What is possible in the future?


Accessibility Infos:

X SPACE is accessible via a ramp. The ramp is 76 cm wide and the slope is 9 %. For more information please contact us!
The closest wheelchair accessible toilet is @ Café Oben, Urban-Loritz-Platz. It’s a five minutes distance.

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about WE DEY x space

WE DEY x space is dedicated to amplify the art and culture production for and by Queer/Trans*/Inter/Black People/People of Color

WE DEY x space aims to center marginalised voices, perspectives, knowledges and experiences from different diasporas

WE DEY x space will host exhibitions, workshops, kitchen table talks and film screenings around the topics of decolonial art production, community, self-care, empowerment.

In preparation of Sophie Utikal’s solo show at WE DEY x SPACE, Sunanda Mesquita asked Sophie Utikal, a few questions about her artistic practice and what she is expecting from exhibiting in this particular space focused on BPoC arts in Vienna. Her current series “Threads of Selves” is on view from 12th -29th of October 2017 at WE DEY x SPACE, Kandlgasse 24, 1070 Vienna.

In conversation with Sophie Utikal


S.M.: Thanks Sophie for taking your time! How would you choose to introduce yourself to someone who doesn’t know anything about your art works yet?



S.U.: My work is about stitching together textile fragments into self portraits of the different landscapes and imageries I see within my body. I use very soft and harmonic colors but stitch everything together with black thread, this makes the borders seem very rough. Because my drawings do not care so much about the “right” proportions and are very simple, the images look childish, which I really like a lot. And still, my technique of sewing everything together by hand is such a difficult and also intense process. I think my images are about breaking binaries of simple/complex, soft/hard, beautiful/disturbing, superficial/deep.

S.M.: Textile art production is embedded in many indigenous communities and communities of color- can you tell us a bit more about your work process and if/how you are referring to these herstories? What made you start to work in this medium?

S.U.: Yes, this is true, the women in my mother’s family from Colombia work with textile and produce textile images that are very simple and complex at the same time. They depict scenes from the everyday life on the countryside, farm animals, trees and houses. I was always fascinated by these images and wanted to apply their storytelling to my surroundings, my body and point of enunciation. The way the borders of my textile fragments are stitched together is a very clear reference to their works. In my case though, I chose to use a black thread to emphasize every stitch I make, instead of hiding them, which would a more common method. I want to make the process and the work visible which are necessary to create these highly complex artworks which are usually called naive art in the Colombian context.


S.M.: Can you tell us more about the series “Threads of Selves”, which you are going to exhibit at WE DEY x space?

S.U.: It is a series of my bodies in different situations and moments I have experienced. You can see me in very powerful positions, flexing into all directions throwing knives towards my surroundings but also in more calm in melancholic moments, lying around in my bed on an island. On one image I am embracing another body, we flow into each other and thereby create a new body of fragmented bits and pieces. Right now I am working on a new piece for the exhibition which will show me in a position I learned for healing traumas. You lie on your back and lift your pelvis until it starts shaking by itself. This movement is very common also for some animals like rabbits, that after the moment of danger and shock has passed they start trembling all over their body to release the anxiety and fear. Humans usually do not do this, so the trauma might stay within their body forever. My images are my own way of storytelling and making my insides visible.

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S.M.: You are planning a workshop named “Stitching Stories” which will focus on collective textile painting making. Can you tell us who the workshop is for and what you are imagining as a possible outcome?

S.U.: The workshop with be exclusively for Black People and People of Color. And as a possible outcome I wish to manifest ourselves into a material form, while connecting what was meant to stay separate. While stitching we will talk, relax and meditate on what it feels like to inhabit our bodies and how we navigate ourselves through our everyday life. I will provide all material necessary. There will be drinks and snacks. The workshop is for free. All skills are welcome.

More details on Facebook
Please send us an email to register for the workshop: we.dey.in@gmail.com
And please be on time ♥

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S.M.: Where & how was your work presented before and what did you like about it/ what would you want to be different this time at WE DEY x space? What are your expectations?

S.U.: Until now my work was presented in informal everyday life settings of my home or of friends. I wouldn’t mind if bigger institutions would invite me to do a solo show, since i still depend on their capital (resources, prestige, networks, cash). Still, I would not expect the audience to identify with my works or be touched on an emotional level. I am sorry to say that in Vienna the big institutions are still white ones, that also attract a white audience with their own white reality. Since my images deal with my body which is outside of  the white eurocentric norms, I think the gap will be too big to feel what I feel in my works, but of course I am open for surprises and even hope that my works can create connections where there were none before.

As WE DEY is a self-organized space by black and people of color I also hope for an audience of Black and People of Color. I am the most happy when I feel understood and I really hope that this will happen with people who share some of my experiences as a Woman of Color.

S.M.: We have focused previously on the topic Self Care at WE DEY x SPACE- I would be very interested in knowing what does radical self care mean to you? Did you work before with this particular focus?

S.U.: The process of creating, feeling my body and recognizing myself in Others is what radical self care means to me. This can be writing a letter to my ass and designing free posters with a portrait of me embracing my butt and the love messages I feel for my body. This is what I did in my other work called “culo con orgullo”.  Connected to this work I also did a writing workshop, where all the participants wrote love letters to one of their body parts, then we exchanged the letters and another person answered from the perspective of the addressed body part. It was a very intense, funny and healing experience for all of us.

S.M.: Thank you Sophie Utikal I am looking forward to your Vernissage this Thursday 12th of October!

Sunanda Mesquita
Co-founder of WE DEY

On Wednesday WE DEY x SPACE opened its doors for the workshop “Activating Archives through Radical Methods” during the festival “Another Roadmap School- Intertwining Histories”.

The session united Evan Ifekoya & Raju Rage from Collective Creativity, Rangoato Hlasane, Patrick Mudekereza and Sunanda Mesquita from initiatives in London, Jo’burg, Lubumbashi and Vienna. We had a great time sharing different radical strategies of centering BPoC voices of the Present. Past. Future. from various geopolitical perspectives. We shared resources and toolkits, expanded each others archives and libraries. It was an exciting day full of new knowledge production and community building.


Thanks Raju Rage & Maja Renn for the nice pics ❤

‘Detoxing Masculinity’

22nd June – 8th July 2017
WE DEY x space

‘Detoxing Masculinity’ presents the latest self-portrait series of Amoako Boafo in a solo exhibition. The artist presents works that continue the explorations and engagement with personal narratives in relation to collective histories, as well as materiality, and process. The large-scale oil paintings underline Amoako Boafo’s multifaceted references from the fields of literature, iconography and traditional painting, inspired by his personal quest to free himself from society‘s norms and limitations.

In Detoxing Masculinity the artists reflects on his religious upbringing, toxic notions of masculinity and his transformation to self-validation and becoming. While disrupting the white gaze onto his naked Black body with non-stereotypical representations of Black masculinity, the series can be read as journey, longing for self-love and self-care. Black self-love is revolutionary in a world, which still sees the Black male body as something to be consumed, to be hyper-sexualized and at the same time something to be afraid of.

Sunanda Mesquita
curator/co-founder of WE DEY

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.

11.01.2016: 19.00 Vernissage WUK Projectraum (www.wuk.at)
Währinger Str. 59, 1090 Wien
“WE DEY show” with works by Amoako Boafo, Sunanda Mesquita, Belinda Kazeem, Verena Melgarejo Weinandt, Stephanie Misa, Darkmatter & Xana. Live performance by XANA (UK) and Djane Chilo!!
Amoako Boafo and Sunanda Mesquita will present insights in their process of initiating the artist archive WE-DEY.IN as well as invite artists they met on the way to participate in a group exhibition.
During the kültürgemma stipendium the two artists founded- WE DEY, an online platform for contemporary arts. WE DEY means “we are” 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.
The artists Sunanda Mesquita and Amoako Boafo aim to portray contemporary Black Artists and Artists of Colour based in Austria and abroad, creating a platform which enables networking and exchange.