1 March 2017

Triangular Trade: Launch project

Enough Room for Space

Initiated by: Maarten Vanden Eynde

Involved:  Sammy Baloji, Femke Herregraven, Dunja Herzog, Alioum Moussa, Jean Katambayi, Maarten Vanden Eynde

Guest participants/researchers: Prof. Dr. Peter Pels, Prof. Wayne Modest, Karin Lurvinck, Sven Beckert

Partners so far: The National Museum, Lubumbashi (CD); Deltaworkers, New Orleans (US); Z33, Museum for art and Architecture, Hasselt (BE)

Venues so far: Bozar, Brussels (BE)

Wheel of Fortune, Maarten Vanden Eynde in collaboration with Musasa, 2016

Triangular Trade investigates the influence of transport and trade of pivotal materials like rubber, oil, ivory, copper, diamonds, gold, cotton and uranium, but also people, on exponential economic growth, the creation of nations and other power structures. The project traces back the origin of the different materials and follows their (r)evolutionary paths as they are processed and transformed into 'world changing wonders'.

Maarten Vanden Eynde started the preliminary research for Triangular Trade in 2015 by investigating the historic under-recognised and often forgotten importance and influence of Kongo (currently D.R. Congo) and it's natural resources on the development of human kind. After three working periods in D.R. Congo he expanded his research to the Southern United States where materials like cotton, copper and uranium played a leading role in the transatlantic trade. Early 2017, the project beccomes public by organising two LUNÄ Talks, one in the framework of Performatik 2017 and one in collaboration with Agora, in Bozar, Brussels, about the specific influence of cotton on the distribution of wealth, the expansion of the slave trade, the industrial evolution and the current ecological crisis in relation to GMO cotton, Monsanto monopolies and fast fashion.

Triangular Trade initiates debates, symposia and research residencies and gatherings resulting in several exhibitions focussing on a wide variety of materials and their particular heritage, and a publication bringing these material matters together. Ultimately the entire project merges old and contemporary stories of trade and colonisation with physical remnants of technological evolution.