Interview with Cesário Nguia Kassandeca (Evandro Kassandeca), Young Angolan Artist Participating in the ResiliArt/Jazz Day Exchange in Newark

Born in Benguela, Angola, in 1996, Cesário Nguia Kassandeca lives and works in Luanda. He holds a degree in Visual and Plastic Arts from the Institute for Arts (ISART) of the University of Luanda.
Cesário Nguia Kassandeca

1. As a visual artist, where do you draw your inspiration?

My inspirations have always been linked to events and social causes. Since childhood, I have always been a very observant person, regarding the details of social events, and innovative trends. I see art as a way to experience life and the the world, it comes from the soul and is worked on by the body which feels, experiences, rationalizes, and relates... and that many times does not faithfully follow the demands of the spirit.

Art for me is a place where the perfection of the being is a recurrent discourse, like the flowing of a river and the strength of the waves of the sea, despite the differences, they always meet!

2. In what ways do you think art contributes to peace and dialogue? Is art more impactful than words when conveying a message?

In my opinion, art is gaining more prominence since it has become extremely contemporary, where everything that is part of existentiality could be art. Within this, I realize that even things from the subconscious are worked on in the artistic field, that each element of the artistic world has a reason to exist, with its own argument. Words like poetics, sensitivity, language, reading, spirituality, creation process, abstraction, symbolic value, utilitarianism, originality, impact, message, sentimentality, ambiguity, etc. will become part of my vocabulary and language.

Cesário Nguia Kassandeca
Cesário Nguia Kassandeca

3. What motivated you to join ResiliArt Angola? How has joining this project benefited you as an artist?

It all started with a phone call from a former teacher inviting me to participate in the ResiliArt Angola project, and I enthusiastically accepted! The ResiliArt Angola project, in my opinion, appears to increase the visibility of artists in Luanda.

The limitations of the pandemic ended up deteriorating a good part of the artistic production, and as such, there were many economic breaks in the artistic layer. Faced with this endeavor we had as the main theme for the creation process: peace for the sustainability and development of culture. My joining the project is helping me a lot in the issue of visibility not only mine but also those of more artists, from the dissemination of their work, the interventions, the experience-sharing, and a wide acceptance in the artistic communities.

4. What do you think is the added value of the cultural exchange with the city of Newark? What are you hoping to accomplish during your stay?

Actually, I would like to thank UNESCO, American Schools of Angola, and especially God Almighty for granting me this grace. I would also like to take this opportunity to say that I plan on taking many surprises with me for a brief presentation.

During my stay in Newark, I hope to have a good interaction with the artistic community, to know more about the habits and customs of the same community. My experience with people will incorporate methodologies of local inquiry and experimentation with recyclable and conventional materials.

I also intend to bring projects already produced and ready to be disseminated, share workshops and much more... Because the trip promises many surprises.

5. What message of peace would you like to share with readers?

Thank you very much for this courtesy. Live joyfully, with love, even among the haters. Live in peace, in joy, in health, even among the distressed. Find the calm within yourself. Get rid of fear, get rid of attachment, find the sweet joy of the path.