16 January –7 March 2020

On-Trade-Off: La Contrepartie

Centre Culturel Jean Cocteau, Ville de Lilas, Paris, FR

Participants: Sammy Baloji, Marjolijn Dijkman, Jean Katambayi, Musasa, Georges Senga, Daddy Tshikaya, Maarten Vanden Eynde.

Duration: 16 January – 7 March 2020

Centre Culturel Jean Cocteau
Espace culturel d'Anglemont (35 place Charles-de Gaulle, Les Lilas)

Exhibition in the framework of  'La Biennale Cultures d'Hivers'


On-Trade-Off: The Weight of Wonders is an artistic trajectory initiated by the artists' initiatives Picha (DRC) and Enough Room for Space (BE).

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

The starting point for the research project On-Trade-Off is the raw material lithium. A naturally occurring element (number three on the periodic table), lithium is currently considered to be ‘the new black gold’ because of its crucial role in the global transition towards a ‘green and fossil fuel free economy’.

Focusing on this one chemical element (Li3) allows the project to zoom in on particular social, ecological, economic and political phenomena that characterize the production processes currently experiencing rapid growth.These phenomena show striking similarities with production chains as we have known them since the start of triangular trade in the 16th century: inhumane labour in the exploitation and extraction processes; a perpetuated economic imbalance to maintain economic growth; uninformed end consumers who are unaware of both the devastating production chain behind the goods they have purchased and their afterlife in the sense that a recycling scheme is lacking.