The African people, because of their lack of written language, made the white colonists think that they were primitive people whose oral tradition prevented them from having a history, capacity for abstract ideas or even any deep spirituality. They would not have committed this error if they had realized that the artistic manifestations are the key to African culture.
The Art Gallery Cultura Africana was born from the intimate conviction that the human race is only ONE and that we must not underestimate the other "esthetics".
Collecting African art is more than just a mere accumulation of more or less beautiful or valuable objects. Saving masques, fetishes, maternities... from sinking into oblivion we help to rescue a patrimony belonging to us all. The new generations might judge us: plunder or conservation? I'm inclined to choose the second one. Even though sales are inevitable within our mercantile society, a large part of our pieces end up in the hands of those always ready to lend them for cultural purposes. This is why one of our main activities is exhibitions that turn the purchasing power of a few in the interest of everyone.
Cultura Africana was set up over ten years ago. Its founders feel for Africa so strongly that some of its members have chosen to live in Burkina Faso. Living in this marvelous continent made us turn into a specialized travel agency capable of giving first hand information concerning African reality.
Its premises are the cohabitation and integration, we discover African art in its natural context and we observe that it is the backbone of both faith and culture. Its fundaments are the respect of mother nature as the source of life and the ancestors as a guaranty of survival. We think that an effective vaccine against xenophobia and racism is to understand that cultural diversity enriches us and that our high technology society doesn't always assure happiness.
There is nothing more eloquent than an African smile. We have much to learn from the wisdom of their ceremonies and rituals , it could be wise for us to look away from our dominat hegemony. Free of prejudice, I can say that when you spend half your life looking for something to be passionate about and you find it, you really take notice.
Ramón Sanz Garvín
Emilio Facal Mitxelena