WAAU meets: Pedro Pires

Pedro Pires is a well-known name in both Africa and Europe, where he approaches themes such as migration, identity, and human rights through various media and techniques.
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Pedro Pires (Luanda, 1978) finds in art clues to calm his restlessness. But this was not always the case… Unlike many other artists, who knew they wanted to dedicate themselves to art from an early age, Pedro Pires only became sure of his direction when he attended a course utterly different from this universe. 

He approaches themes such as migration, identity, and human rights through various media and techniques, as well as objects present in everyday life. His name (homonym of a former PAIGC president and fighter) is widely known in Africa and Europe, enjoying a solid international career. In this synergy, he finds the strength to deepen his work in the debate on identity and origins. Pires’ most challenging works stem from his curiosity and humanism. When he was young, he left for Lesbos, Greece, where he encountered the shocking reality of the refugees that motivated him to expose the problems of forced migration. This trip resulted in one of his most acclaimed sculptures: 14,000 Newtons. 

In this interview with WAAU, Pires tells us about his journey, the concepts that have his driving force, and the most remarkable moments, personally and professionally, of a life with a sensitive eye for creation. To deepen and interconnect the background of our interview, with many reflections and works in progress, we asked him about his creative process, his condition as a traveler, and what the category “contemporary African artist” means to him.

Translation and Subtitling: Érica Almeida Postiço

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