Andrea Chung in group show at The Historical Museum in the University of Oslo 2.28.19

Still picture from the film Paradise Omeros, by Isaac Julien.

The Sea is History

The Sea is History
 features work by contemporary artists who address issues of migration and displacement from both a historical and contemporary perspective.

The stories and histories extend over a timeframe that begins with the African slave trade and continues until today. The exhibition title is inspired by the seminal poem by the St. Lucian Nobel-laureate poet Derek Walcott. The reference serves to emphasize the poetic undercurrent of the exhibition, while also highlighting the relevance of great Caribbean thinkers such as Derek Walcott, Stuart Hall, and Édouard Glissant within a wider geographical and theoretical context.

At a time when forced migration is affecting the lives of an ever-increasing number of individuals worldwide, the question is how contemporary artists can address the topic of displacement in ways that contribute to increased awareness, tolerance, and understanding. Through a combination of site-specific works, installations, videos, works on paper, and performance, the exhibition conveys a nuanced picture of migration.

Participating artists

John Akomfrah
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons
Andrea Chung
Christopher Cozier
Manthia Diawara
Isaac Julien
Naiza Khan
Hew Locke
Nyugen E. Smith
Cosmo Whyte

The exhibition is Curated by Selene Wendt. With generous support from Fritt Ord, Goethe-Institut and The Norwegian Cultural Council.


An exhibition catalogue has been published by Skira, with emphasis on Caribbean voices and poetry. The book features essays and poems by Christian Campbell, Manthia Diawara, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Kei Miller, Annie Paul, Ishion Hutchinson, Nyugen E. Smith, Derek Walcott, and Selene Wendt.

For more detailed information please see The Global Art Project.

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