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Once upon a time there were…

two museums which become active by informing the public about the fieldwork of the NGO’s ACRA and Oxfam Italia. Neglected or underutilised species revealing their nutritional, gustative and mythical power. Masks which are at the same time cultural and “agri-cultural”.

So two exhibitions, one in Rome, the other one in Binche, came into being…

 

The exhibition “(Agri)-culture(s). When agriculture unmasks culture” invites you to follow the tracks of the antilope, the “champion of cultures”, searching for the ties between culture and agriculture. Farming methods, the choice of the seeds to be grown or the adaptation of tools are all aspects revealing their close relation. There are also the masked agricultural rites which are of great importance. The Mask Museum has chosen the latter as the focus of its exhibition: the mask trying to promote the fertility of the soil and to invoke rain, the mask supervising the work in the fields, the mask protecting certain fruits etc. Agriculture is thus indeed cultural; however, more than that, it is even a vehicle of identity…

 

Up to now, our antilope has just done her warming-up. She leads you further, slowly trotting towards the heart of the exhibition: the areas dedicated to the regions of Ecuador, Morocco and Senegal where the partner NGO’s work. It is a question of developing forgotten species taking into account, apart from their nutritional value, their cultural aspects with the aim of everybody adopting these seeds of identity… Overseas, of course, but also through the diasporas. Marriage ceremonies, traditional clothes and tools used in daily life illustrate these “cultures of agriculture”.