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Africamuseum - Persona
Persona. Ritual Masks and Contemporary Art is a temporary exhibition based on the theme of identity as examined through the mask in the literal and figurative sense.

‘In Latin, Persona referred to the actor’s mask...In a very general way, the persona is the mask worn by each person in order to respond to the demands of life in society’ (Encyclopaedia Universalis).


The exhibition features 180 masks. Over 100 are from the collections of the Royal Museum for Central Africa. The remainder are loans from Belgian private collections and a European project's four partner museums: the Musée du quai Branly in Paris, the Ethnography Museum of Stockholm, the Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini in Rome and the Musée International du Carnaval et du Masque in Binche (Belgium).

These ritual masks are juxtaposed with contemporary works by African artists or African diaspora members, which explore the question of identity, self-respect and representation of the Other.

Persona. Ritual Masks and Contemporary Art is presented as part of Project READ-ME (Réseau européen des Associations de Diasporas & Musées d’Ethnographie, ‘European Network of Diaspora Associations and Ethnography Museums’), which aims to encourage dialogue in Europe between museums and the diasporas whose cultures are represented in their collections.