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The Colonists of Africa 

Clay on canvas, 2023 


There's a European board game called Settlers of Catan (and various other additions to the suite) that is the literal gamification of colonisation.

Starting with the very notion of "Settlers" Vs colonisers/oppressors, it makes a deliberate effort to make light of the very serious issue of land and resource grabbing.

It makes light of very real things that are/were done to countless civilisations over the centuries. Moments when the "settlers" "discover" a fascinating new world and can't help themselves, they simply must have its resources, own its people, own its riches and ultimately own IT.

It takes a severe level of ignorance or disregard to conceptualise this game, make it and have it be one of the most popular board games of all time in the Northern Western world.

Catan had a precursor game iteration. It was called The Berlin Conference.

This was a time when Europe came together in the late 1800s and decided to carve out territory chunks on the African continent. With zero regard for the life that already existed on this land. A few nations playing games with billions of lives, for capital gain.

This painting is a merger of the Catan game deck and the Berlin Conference. It shows how we as Africans came to speak French, Dutch, Portuguese, English, German, Italian and Spanish, sometimes more fluently than our own tongues. It shows how proto-countries started off this trajectory into the nationalism ideas we have today.

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