Visiting West Africa in 1993 for a cultural exchange between Canada and West Africa to paint murals and to exhibit our artworks with the Arts in Action Society, was an unforgettable experience. We painted a mural in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, with 20 artists from Cameroon on panels placed along the walls of the French Cultural Center in that city. In Accra, the capital of Ghana, the Ghanaian artists got organized with our group to paint the mural titled 'Togetherness' on a giant canvas. In Ivory Coast we traveled from the capital Abidjan to the old capital of the country to paint a mural with a group of fine arts teachers from art schools of both cities. At the end of our tour in Senegal, the capital of Dakar, we painted round murals for the mural series titled 'Mirrors', on the walls of the Senghor Cultural Center.
This wonderful experience was in turn a great learning experience as well as a collective celebration of brotherhood between different cultures. It has forever been etched into my memory as well as registered in the Canadian documentary 'African Bushstrokes' directed by the Canadian film-maker David Pettigrew.
My second trip to Africa was in 2013 to Tzaneen, in the province of Limpopo situated in the northeast of South Africa, to paint murals on the walls of their city hall. The event that was organized primarily by the South African muralist Andrew Nhlangwini, allowed me to express through my mural the history of protest and struggle against Apartheid in South Africa.
Copyright © ALBERTO CERRITOS