Coffee, Rhum, Sugar & Gold: A Postcolonial Paradox

Wed May 22 (full schedule below)
Museum of the African Diaspora - MOAD
11am - 6pm
Art, Museums
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Coffee, Rhum, Sugar & Gold: A Postcolonial Paradox is an exhibition that looks at the legacy of European colonialism in the Caribbean through the work of 10 contemporary artists. Whether connected to the Caribbean by birth or focused on the region by choice, the exhibiting artists use their work as a means of examining the relationship between the power structure, those who are controlled by it, those who benefit from it, and those who actively seek to liberate themselves from it.

The exhibition title is inspired by some of the core products that have historically been produced in, and exported from the Caribbean to the rest of the world – with a focus on Europe. Coffee, Rhum, Sugar & Gold remain highly valuable commodities and commercially important goods. However, because of their ubiquity, and the passage of time, these items have lost much of their historical gravity and visibility as key drivers of European colonialism.

According to the European Commission, the main exports from the Caribbean to the European Union are fuel and mining products, such as petroleum gas and oils; bananas, sugar and rum; minerals, notably gold, corundum, aluminum oxide and hydroxide, and iron ore products; and fertilizers. However, the historic toll of colonialism remains evident in the lives of hundreds of millions of people who are the descendants of those who suffered, sacrificed, and even gained from its expansion and apparent decline.

A key driver of the exhibition is the theory that colonialism has continued to exist in other forms, and is in fact spreading through the export of soft power, the use of military force, the control of international financial and banking mechanisms, as well as the increase in globalization.

Artists in this exhibition

Firelei Báez
Leonardo Benzant
Andrea Chung
Lavar Munroe
Angel Otero
Phillip Thomas
Lucia Hierro
Adler Guerrier
Ebony G. Patterson
Didier William

Image: Ebony G. Patterson, A View In, 2015. Mixed media jacquard woven tapestry with hand cut elements. Courtesy Jenkins Johnson Collection.


Museum of the African Diaspora - MOAD
685 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA
Wed May 22 (11am - 6pm)
Thu May 23 (11am - 6pm)
Fri May 24 (11am - 6pm)
Sat May 25 (11am - 6pm)
Sun May 26 (12noon - 5pm)


  1. Museum of the African Diaspora - MOAD 685 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA