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Current project

In societies that were colonised, you find influences of colonisation reflected in gender. In these communities, colonialism shaped a violent masculinity, which is expressed in the power men still have over women's lives. Research shows that in societies that have been colonized, violence is rooted in the culture and socially legitimized. Women face physical violence, emotional and/or sexual abuse on a daily basis (Brazilian Journal of African Studies, 2020).

The vulnerability of women in societies that were colonized touches Anna. Due to her own experiences as a woman, but also due to the responsibility she feels from her Portuguese-Dutch identity.
To delve deeper into the inequalities in gender generated from the processes of colonization, Nunes travelled to São Tôme in 2023 and 2024. An island located in the Gulf of Guinea. São Tôme was colonized by the Portuguese in 1493 and the Dutch played a major role in the island's colonisation and slave trade.
By focusing on São Tôme, Nunes aims to address a more expansive picture of Dutch colonial history. Not just the painful influences in Suriname and the Caribbean, but also in all the other areas we do not know about, but the Dutch possessed power over.

While not often heard, gender inequality as a result of colonisation is a pertinent theme, especially now that colonial history, the position of women and the discrimination in gender identities are in focus.

In São Tôme, Nunes stayed in residency with SOMA, an NGO working against the deprived position of women. During the artist-in-residency, Nunes assisted in SOMA's operations and gained insight into the everyday consequences of the slavery past in the reality of girls and women. In numerous drawings, she incorporates the knowledge, insights and experiences gained and makes the vulnerable situation of women visible to a spectator.
Beyond the current reality, she paints the world she longs to see. A world that is free and safe, one in which girls and women are at liberty to be themselves. In it, Nunes explores her role as a woman, the meaning of a naked female body and the choices you make when you feel free and safe.

With the project, Anna Nunes opposes oppression and violence against woman and exposes the deep roots that have produced such inequalities in gender relations.

Special thanks to SOMA and the Fund of Cultuurparticipatie.