© Anna Nunes 2023
My paintings were created after my stay in the Boé region. The Boé is one of the most inaccessible parts of Guinea-Bissau. This region is so isolated that some of the people I lived and worked with in 2017 had not yet come into contact with Western people like myself.
In the Boé, I worked as an ecologist with the Fulani communities on the conservation of their sacred forests. Sacred forests are ancient forests maintained through the preservation of spiritual beliefs and traditional practices by the people inhabiting the surrounding area. In the Boé, sacred forests are dedicated to ancestral spirits. It is through their spiritual beliefs that the inhabitants respect several life forms and live connected to the mystical, the past and the natural world. It is in this context that traditional healers play an important role in their societies and animals are seen as our ancestors in a different physical embodiment.
My six months in the forests of the Boé constituted a life-changing experience.
This experience I cannot put into words. It is too meaningful. That's why I capture my experiences and feelings through shape and colour.
My work is an homage to the residents of the Boé. A tribute to their collectivity, wisdom and spiritual connection with their ancestors and nature.
At the same time, my paintings are a tool to give a voice to their unheard stories and perspectives.
In this way, I want to contribute to the visibitlity of underexposed aspects of the world we live in, and to new stories and values in society.
In essence, through my paintings, I want to inspire us to shape a new way of life that listens to the signals, traces and voices of other people and other beings. A way of life that is in solidarity with all that is and lives.