By Ivonne Carlos

The first time I knew about Platform Artspace and Residency, was during the Night of the Arts just last year, in 2022. We were just walking around, experiencing every street performance, and suddenly there it was, an advertisement with some words in Spanish. It got us obviously. It was an exposition with Latin American artists, from Mexico, another one from Colombia and one more from Venezuela. It was a great atmosphere. That’s why after that, I began to follow the gallery’s social networks and to be more attentive to the events they organize, so we came back again. Recently, we went to Gael Maski Kusa Kusa’s presentation, an artist-in-residence who was working in Vaasa on his project titled “Air”, supported by the gallery residency program. He is a young black artist from Democratic Republic of Congo. His collage paintings inspired by his own experiences throughout his life, some of the people he has met here and there, and in this city, were generally very pink. Interesting how he associated Vaasa to that pink vibe, as he said… Vaasa pink? It would never occur to me. The painting-collage that I liked the most was this one of a young black or colored boy in summer clothes, his head covered with a black cloth, a t-shirt made of newspaper clippings, and pink flip-flops visibly dirty. This character caught my attention. We told him that we liked it because we associated it with Mexico, with demonstrations, and Zapatismo. And, although he did not express it that way, the sphere that he carries on his head represents for me those whitewashed European ideas with which one grows up. Ideas that, of course, have their weight in our lives. There are other interesting things in the painting that I could talk about, but these were the ones that stood out the most for me. If you have a chance, go to Platform. They always have something to explore there both in the gallery, or in any of its talks and events, or even to go to the space and learn about its calls first hand. In addition, it is always nice to meet and talk with the people who make up the project. Later, I will be writing a little about the cultural soups they carry out regularly