Grada Kilomba (b. 1968, Lisbon, Portugal) is an interdisciplinary artist, whose work interrogates concepts of knowledge, power and violence.
“What stories are told? How are they told? And told by whom?” are constant questions in Kilomba’s body of work, to revise post-colonial narratives. With a singular beauty, Kilomba subversively translates text into image, movement and installation, by giving body, voice and form to her own critical writings.
Performance, staged reading, video, photography and installation are a platform for her unique practice of storytelling, which intentionally disrupts the proverbial ‘white cube’ through a new and urgent decolonial language and imagery.
Her work has been presented in major international events such as: La Biennale de Lubumbashi VI; 10. Berlin Biennale; Documenta 14, Kassel; 32. Bienal de São Paulo. Selected solo and group exhibitions include the Pinacoteca de São Paulo; Bildmuseet, Umeå; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; The Power Plant, Toronto; Maxim Gorki Theatre, Berlin; MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon; Secession Museum, Vienna; Bozar Museum, Brussels; PAC- Pavillion Art Contemporanea, Milan.
Her work features in public and private collections worldwide, including the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, and MAAT — Museum of Art, Artchitecture and Technology.
Kilomba holds a distinguished Doctorate in Philosophy from the Freie Universität Berlin. She has lectured at several international universities, and was a Professor at the Humboldt Universität Berlin, Department of Gender Studies.
Among others, she is the author of the acclaimed “Plantation Memories” (Unrast, 2008) a compilation of episodes of everyday racism written in the form of short psychoanalytical stories. Her book has been translated into several languages, and was listed as the most important non-fiction literature in Brazil, 2019.