Kevin Osepa (CW, 1994)
Kevin Osepa is a photographer born and raised on the island of Curaçao. His work revolves around his own identity as well as, in a broader sense, of Afro-Caribbean youth in a post-colonial world. The visuals he creates and the stories he tells are highly influenced by his youth. Growing up in the Carribean, Osepa was taught to uphold certain superstitions, like to never put your bag on the ground, or else you’ll lose all your money. When he moved to the Netherlands for his studies at the Utrecht School of Arts, he suddenly realized how this magical way of thinking was missing from Dutch society. In his work he started exploring bruá, the Afro-Carribean mix of nature religion, alternative medicine, catholic elements, an extensive spirit world and ancestor worship, which informed the superstitions of his youth. For example, the commandment to never climb a tree after six in the evening became 4 anonymous arms slowly crawling up a tree trunk. While the themes he explores are autobiographical, his work can also serve as a quasi-anthropological study. Using different experimental techniques he creates (colourful) visual stories that explore themes such as religion, African diaspora, and family.
Osepa was nominated for the Steenbergen Stipendium 2017, and the Volkskrant Beeldende Kunstprijs 2017.