Searching for Libertalia (2019)

Shiraz Bayjoo
Searching for Libertalia
Mixed media Dimensions variable
Commissioned by New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK
Courtesy of the artist


Shiraz Bayjoo’s practice elucidates forgotten histories that contain multiple layers of meaning and visual culture. Mainly working with repurposed archival displays, his works subvert oppressive western historical narratives that have defined the psyches of colonised peoples. Searching for Libertalia (2019) recasts Madagascar’s history of slave trading, resource exploitation, modernisation and postcolonial independence through multiple sources and formats. Combining archival vitrines, videos, furniture, photography and found objects, the artist addresses embedded historical biases within existing materials while building on practices of créolisation.