Jeannette Ehlers  /  Play Mas

Play Mas explores the issues of masquerade within a colonial context through the figure of Moko Jumbie. A god of fate in many West African cultures, Moko is said to have crossed the Atlantic on stilts to protect his people, who were being deported and enslaved. Metamorphosed into a dancing, benevolent figure named Moko Jumbie, he appears in disguise during traditional masquerades in Trinidad and Tobago. As the antithesis of an urban environment frozen in stone, whose architecture and monuments form the archives of a colonial past, Moko shines bright. His body “plays mas”—a Trinidadian expression that means to take part in a masquerade and also refers to the extreme pleasure we experience from playing ourselves.


Exhibition presented by MOMENTA Biennale de l’image and produced in partnership with Fonderie Darling.

This exhibition is funded by the Danish Arts Foundation.