Interviews

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Africa Day Interview conducted by Tropics Magazine (2011)

“Just that (no need for justification, because is a fact). Africa was the cradle of life, and will be the future and salvation of mankind.” – Xesko

TROPICS MAGAZINE – IT’S A GREAT HONOUR TO HAVE YOU HERE TODAY. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT STATE OF MIND?
XESKO – My current state of mind is “worried”, worried with: the world, the politics, the world crisis, culture, racism and social integration, among many other issues, that should have been solved in this beginning of the XXI century, but remains as present today as at the time of our ancestors.

TM-YOU ARE ONE REMARKABLE CHILD OF AFRICA. WILL YOU PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR ROOTS AND BACKGROUND?
XESKO – My roots go back to the beginning of Portuguese colonization in Africa. My family was among the first to settle in (at that time) newly city of Luanda. However, my great-grandfather, moved to Portugal, so I skipped a generation of Angolans, as my parents, feeling the call of Africa, immigrated back to Angola in 1959, and I born there and grew up immersed in the African quarters (musseques) of Luanda, where I drank the African culture in its pure state, and discovered, to my surprise, black lost cousins. All that, made me realizes that Africanisms is not about skin color but is in the spirit and runs in our blood.

TM – WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING & WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK IN THIS FIELD?
XESKO – I am a Visual Artist, however my background is scientific (chemical engineering) and not artistic, but I was unhappy with myself and felt that I needed to do something more. It was such need that led me to try to change the society through politics, but soon realized that due to being of white origin, I was not taken seriously and was looked with condescension, and it was that who led me to become more active in my side of cultural intervention.

TM– THE WHOLE WORLD IS CELEBRATING TODAY THE “AFRICA’S DAY.” WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT IT?
XESKO – The Africa Day is a celebration commemorating the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on May 25 of 1963. It is an important day because it marks the day that the African continent stand up against the world and said, “We are here”. Since that day, we started to celebrate the African Union and the existence of this magnificent continent, not as a set of countries, but as one vast African nation. This year’s celebrations are particularly important because the theme is “Africa and the Diaspora, ” a subject that is still sensitive in the eyes of many, and generates much controversy and debate.

TM – AS SON / DAUGHTER OF AFRICA, WHAT KIND OF CONTRIBUTIONS DO YOU BRING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR CONTINENT?
XESKO – My contribution has always been the cultural openness of people’s minds, and to understand the magnificent African culture. The world owes much to Africa, not just the human race, which originated in Africa but also African culture has been influencing the world for centuries, both in music, arts, and spiritually, however there remains a refusal to accept those sources, therefore I always focus my work on these items leading to that reality comes to the surface. On the other hand, I also try to promote cultural development of our people (Angola), trying to pass on my knowledge to the youngest, and by supporting activities that lead to the further cultural development of populations.

TM – WHAT EXACTLY WOULD YOU LOVE TO TELL THE WORLD ABOUT AFRICA THAT THEY DO NOT KNOW ALREADY? PLEASE JUSTIFY YOUR ABOUT.
XESKO – Just that (no need for justification, because is a fact). Africa was the cradle of life, and will be the future and salvation of mankind.

TM – ACCORDING TO YOU, WHO ARE THE HERO OR THE AFRICAN ICONS WHO DESERVE THE GREATEST FAME AND NEED TO BE CELEBRATED TODAY?
XESKO – Leopold Senghor as one of the three founder of “Négritude”, the first awareness of black identity, Agostinho Neto for his humanism and for have proved that Africa could be free and capable to live without colonialism, and Nelson Mandela by proving to the world that persistence and non-violence are realities that must be taken into account.

TM– ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE QUALITY OF DEBATE PEOPLE ENGAGE ON THE ISSUE OF BLACKS IN YOUR COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE OR ABROAD?
XESKO – I am not satisfied because it is never enough. I will be satisfied only when there will be any kind of racial, cultural, sexual, religious, or political, prejudice, in the world.

TM – BEING A NEW DIGITAL MEDIA FROM AFRICA, WE’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT OUR PLATFORM. FEEL FREE TO MAKE REMARKS, COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS.
XESKO – From my point of view, is a fashion magazine oriented, but gives a good coverage of arts in general, what is good and healthy. The format (online and paper) is interesting and makes a bridge between the past and present, however, suffers for being too turned to the Francophone reality and to  Anglophone, ignoring completely (at least in what I’ve read so far), the Lusophone reality.

TM – THANKS FOR ACCOMODATING US HERE TODAY. WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR TIME & PLEASE “STAY TROPICS!”
XESKO – The pleasure was all mine.

Interview by Venicia Guinot
TROPICS MAGAZINE – SOUTH AFRICA
TEL +27 967 3433 / +27 11 487 92 85
EMAIL: @ gmail.com tropics.info
http://tropicsmagazine.over-blog.com

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Online interview conducted by the magazine Art Limited (2009)

* When and how do you start to create?
# I was 8 years old when I did my first oil painting, but I started to draw (seriously), at 14, first I started to working with India ink and then with watercolours.

* Do you create as a professional or for your own?
# Both. Basically I create my work because I feel like it, then I wait that other people like them too, but of course I also do commissions.

* How do you learn and work your skill?
# I began experimenting with paint and then I went deepening/probing this experience not only through professional courses but also doing my research.

* What do you like in this art?
# The ability to create whatever my mind imagine.

* What are your favourite subject(s)?
# In fact I do not have any in particular, it depends heavily on the moment inspiration and in what I am feeling at that particular time.

* How do you prepare a creation work?
# That is a tricky question … I really do not know, the works appear in my head and then I pass them to the canvas.

* What are your preferred moment(s) when you create?
# Normally at night.

* What your most representative creations?
# LOL, every one of them.

* What are you trying to share via your art?
# Simply Art, nothing more than that.

* Who are artists that fascinate or give you inspiration?
# Many artists but most of all Dali.

* What equipment and/or technique do you use?
# All I can, I like to experience all that art can provide.

* How and why your work as changed since you started?
# I think that age changes everything, but basically the only real change is the fluidity with which I create my work.

* What does the Internet media give you?
# A big canvas to work.

* What are your plans for future?
# Promote my ideas about Dispersionism.

* Do you have anything else to say? Some famous words for posterity?
# “Who lives and breathes Art is worthy of being in the pantheon of Gods.”

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