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Un pechiche para Benkos, 2017

A "Pechiche" for Benkos, 2017
In his work, Colombian artist Marcos Ávila Forero investigates contemporary neo-imperialism. For the video Un pechiche para Benkos, he commissioned a handmade pechiche, a drum with which slave communities sent encrypted messages, and asked Congolese musicologist Émile Biayenda to tell a story, which concerns the journey of two migrants, using these ancient codes. The sound of the percussive drum creates a hypnotic effect that combines the experiences of the migrants, one a historical figure and the other a modern migrant. They are identified as Camara Mwa Abdallaye, who tries to cross the contemporary Mediterranean hidden in a "cayuco", and Benkos Biohó, a slave and leader of the first movement of Colombian emancipation, who died in 1622. Although they correspond to two different historical moments, the parallels show that the current migration phenomenon repeats and reproduces the experiences of past centuries. For both characters, hidden in the hull of the ship, the sound of the waves turns the boat into a resonant box.

Technical details

Original title:
Un pechiche para Benkos
Registration number:
Ávila-Forero, Marcos
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Audiovisual recording
Single-channel video, colour, sound, 5 min 29 s
Edition number:
Ed. 1/5 + 2 P.A.
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Marcos Ávila-Forero
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