By: Mário Macilau
A few years ago some fellow friends told me about Asiko. I don’t even remember the exactly dates but it was when it was starting for the first time, maybe was in Lagos, if not, for sure it was somewhere on the African continent. Those friends of mine, they are all photographers, we are all close to each other and they told me about this initiative not just as simple name of an art workshop or not just because we all want to learn but also because we were looking for a place where love and friendship exist; a place where one can feel comfortable to say, to think, to feel and to do.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the first Asiko program because it was too far for me, because I was not sure, because it was impossible. That’s why when Bisi Silva (independent curator and founder of ASIKO) told me about the possibility of bringing the 4th edition of Asiko to Maputo, capital city of Mozambique and my hometown, I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a dream that will never come true even though I am always positive on my thinking and dreams but at this point I was not sure.
At the time of this announcement, I remember that I was in tour in Europe for my exhibition, where I still have commitments for the rest of this year… but somehow I knew I had to postpone everything for another year just to come back to Mozambique to attend this amazing program.
My journey home for Asiko began when I was in London and I missed my flight to Paris and my connection to Maputo. I was so scared that it would affect my participation in the program, it was crazy moment, but I made it to Paris. My flight was around 11 pm, check in was just 2 hours before but had my eyes open wide so as to not miss my flight. I arrived at the CDG airport in Paris early around 2pm, it was raining outside, a bit cold.
During the check in I got my boarding pass for Paris to Maputo. But before they handed it to me they asked me then if I have Visa to the Republic of Maputo, eyeing the cover of my passport which says REPUBLIC OF MOZAMBIQUE. I started to smile and I told them I don’t need a visa to Maputo because that’s the capital of Mozambique.
I arrived in Maputo in my warm clothes from the cold countries and I had to remove every thing to enjoy the weather of my country. I went straight to the place where everyone who is part of Asiko is being hosted. It was still unreal for me, but then when I meet every one in the program I started to see that it was real and till now, every thing has been so cool.