Nomaduma Rosa Masilela & Thiago de Paula Souza selected in Open Call for Emerging Curators

We’re delighted to announce that Nomaduma Rosa Masilela and Thiago de Paula Souza have been selected for the seventh edition of Para Site’s annual Open Call for Emerging Curators. The winning proposal by the curatorial duo centers around the question: ‘How do we learn to love each other while we are embattled on so many fronts?’ This collaborative survey inquires into the impediments to reconnection during a pandemic as well as global uprisings related to racial inequalities, governmental violence, and ecological crises. For the 2022 Open Call for Emerging Curators, submissions were reviewed by a panel consisting of guest jurors Christina Li (Independent Curator, Amsterdam) and Xiaoyu Weng (Curator, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto), along with Para Site’s Cosmin Costinas (Executive Director/Curator), Celia Ho (Curator), and Kelly Ma (Deputy Director).

‘It was an honour to be part of the selection process for this edition’s Emerging Curators Exhibition,’ Li shares. ‘Despite a trying year marked by isolation and insurmountable hardship brought about by the ongoing pandemic, I was deeply inspired by the diversity and rigour in the proposals this year. We have decided to give the award to a proposal we found to be an urgent curatorial endeavour that addresses the issues of disempowerment, mutual learning, and repair. [The proposal by Nomaduma and Thiago] is a powerful and ingenuous search for new languages of survival, solidarity and struggle much needed in these vulnerable times.’

Echoing Li, Weng adds, ‘I am deeply moved by [the collaborative proposal]. The project, which centers on the shared—and much heightened—human experience of love, vulnerability, care, and survival, during an unprecedented difficult time, is not only an intellectual fruit but also a love letter: to me, to you, and to the world. To quote the [curatorial duo], the “joyful and non-conformist positions” are what continue to inspire and remind us why we do what we do as cultural workers. It was with such hope and joy reading through all the thoughtful applications for this year’s Emerging Curators Exhibition. I look forward to seeing the exhibition.’

The exhibition is set to take place at Para Site from July to September 2022. Stay tuned for more details as we look forward to welcoming Nomaduma and Thiago to Para Site!

About the curators

Nomaduma Rosa Masilela is an artist, curator, and writer. Her work and interests focus on collective work and strategy; public and performance art; ideas of the uncanny, the absurd, the dissonant; and the ambivalent natures of authenticity, history, and identity production. She received an MA in art history and philosophy from Columbia University, New York in 2013. Her curatorial practice includes exhibitions and projects with Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (2019), the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2018), and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015–2016). She currently commits her writing and curatorial practice to critically supporting the work of queer- and femme-identifying artists from the global south and its diasporas. She is based in Berlin.

Thiago de Paula Souza is a curator and educator interested in different configurations of knowledge and power that enable contradictions as well as in art and education’s ability to re-elaborate the past and produce new ethical codes that help us imagine a world where violence is no longer its foundation. He co-curated the 3rd edition of Frestas—Triennial of Arts, São Paulo (2020–2021), participated in the Post-academic Fellowship Program at Basis Voor Actuele Kunst (BAK) (2018–2019), and served on the curatorial team of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2018). He is currently a PhD candidate at HDK-Valand at the University of Gothenburg and a curatorial advisor for the 58th Carnegie International.

Nomaduma and Thiago began their curatorial collaboration at the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2018).