EzaOKUP is the fusion of two artist collectives: Eza Possibles, a Kinshasa-based all-male team of creators, and OKUP, a mostly female European crew. With the objectives of these two collectives echoing each other loudly, the members decided to put in place a joint project in which they would share their concerns, challenge their methods and deepen their approaches through encounter. This multi-facetted adventure is meant to grow over time, with crossover residencies, long-distance communication and joint production.
Founded in 2003, Eza Possibles – Lingala for “Yes We Can” – spans many disciplines: painting, sculpture, performance, installation, scenography, experimental cartography, video, photomontage and design.
The collective’s current core members are: Pathy Tshindele, Méga Mingiedi, Eddy Ekete, Kura Shomali and Freddy Mutombo. Founding members include Iviart Izamba, Vitshois Mwilambwe, Olivier Toloko, Orion Kifuikidi, Kiki Kalonda, Kennedy Dinanga, Labemba Labos and Géré Kondo. Frequent present-day associates are Cédrick Nzolo and Androa Mindre, both of whom played important parts in the first Neoliberal Machine residency.
OKUP is both an association and an arts collective. The workd okup means “gathering” in Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian and sums up the core of the OKUP association’s activities. The association was created in November 2001 in Strasbourg, France. Its members are urban artists, scenographers, publishing professionals and project coordinators. The association aims to establish a pan-European cultural network via arts events linking European Union countries and the Balkans. In recent years (2002-2007), OKUP has staged four festivals: “CARAVANE #1, #2, #3 and #4” (Sarajevo, Bosnia; Strasbourg, France; Belgrade and Novi Sad, Serbia).
In 2008, the association gave rise to an artists’ collective also called OKUP. In addition to producing trans-disciplinary artworks, the collective collaborates with like-minded groups, developing in situ projects that address the role of audience participation in the making, the reception and the life of art.
OKUP’s members are Agnès Bourgeois (France), Audrey Cavelius (Switzerland), Ivana Cerovic (France), Carole Deltenre (France), Natalia Grabundzija (France), Daniela Jovic (Belgium), Marion Rinaudo (Argentina and France), Jean-Grégoire Spaeth (Belgium), Pauline Squelbut (France), Marie Storup-Canabié (Spain), and Marie Szernovicz (Belgium).