Exhibition: Gabrielle Leroux’s “Living Ancestors” of Dominica

Organized in cooperation with the Permanent Delegation of Dominica to UNESCO, Gabrielle Le Roux’s “Living Ancestors” opened yesterday, March 8, 2010, and will be on view until March 19 at Ségur Hall, UNESCO, 7, place de Fontenoy, Paris (75352), France. A meeting with the artist is scheduled for March 9 from 11:00am to 1:00pm in Room V.

“Living Ancestors” is a collection of portraits and stories of ten Dominican women over the age of 100. For example, the first image shown here is of Elize Phillip, who was also called Leela, Moda, and Ma Bradley in her community. She was 113 years old when she agreed to be drawn for this project. According to Le Roux, “Ma Bradley was deeply moved to know that her portrait was going to be seen in Africa; she said it was the only way she would return there.” (The second image is of Aunty Rose and Ma Pampo.) Before being shown at UNESCO, was exhibited in Dominica, Uganda, South Africa, Holland, and most recently at the Museum of London Docklands.

Artist and activist for social justice, Gabrielle Le Roux was born in London and raised in South Africa. She lived in the Caribbean during the 1980s. In the early 1990s she returned to South Africa where she worked with various NGOs on women’s rights, human rights, and HIV/AIDS. Le Roux ran Women’s Media Watch South Africa for five years. Since 2001 G. Le Roux combines portraits drawn from life with first person narratives creating traveling exhibitions that raise awareness about social issues and are exhibited in museums, universities, cultural centers worldwide.

For more information, see http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=47343&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

For more information and images from the collection, see http://sta.uwi.edu/crgs/september2008/journals/GabrielleLeRoux-LivingAncestors.pdf

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