Darwin & Africa at the MuVIM


Considering the unrelenting chill and rain which have been making life in Valencia miserable for the past few days, we stuck to indoor activities this past Sunday and visited the MuVIM – Valencia’s Museum of Illustration and Modernity.


The most publicized of the exhibits was Monomania — a “fun” collection of cutout monkeys meant to honor Darwin’s 200th birthday. We couldn’t believe that we trudged through the rain and slop in order to see this. Maybe we just didn’t get it, because this small room full of identical cut-out monkeys with “punny” phrases was extraordinarily underwhelming. Like, 30 seconds was too much time.

Luckily, the MuVIM is also offering two other extremely fascinating, complementary exhibits on the 1930’s French mission from Dakar, Senegal to Djibouti, Ethiopa. On the MuVIM’s bottom floor is a collection of artifacts, posters & photographs from the mission. The intention of the explorers was to justify continued French colonialism, and many of the pieces on display betray the patronizaion and patriarchy in which Europe held Africa. Fascinating — as much for the glimpse into Africa, as for that into the European colonial mindset.


A complimentary exhibit displays photographs of Africa taken by Françoise Huguier between 1988 and 1990, when he followed the route of the Dakar-Djibouti mission. Wonderful impressions.

All of these exhibits run until May 10th. At least 2 of them are worth your time.

MuVIM’s Official Website

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