Web-Dossier: Re/Visions - African Perspectives on Contemporary Arts
In the framework of the project Re/Visions - African Perspectives on Contemporary Arts, AfricAvenir presents the following Web-Dossier with contributions by Youma Fall, Didier Houédouné, Shailja Patel, Gabi Ngcobo and J. Enoka Ayemba. Unfortunately the dossier has not as yet been translated into all three languages of this website, so that only the German version is complete. However, we offer access to the original versions of the texts which were written either in French or in English. We will try to have the dossier in three languages soon.
With the project RE/VISIONEN – Contemporary perspectives on art from Africa, AfricAvenir International e.V. presented a varied programme of events in 2009. The programme opened with a series of films curated by Julien Enoka Ayemba, continued with dance and poetry performances and at the end of the year presented works by African video artists put together by Dr. Youma Fall from DAK'ART, the Biennial for contemporary African art, and accompanied by a varied programme of discussions and events. |+| full text article (English & German)
Dr. Youma Fall: The Narrow Portal?
Youma Fall, a member of the curator team of DAK'ART and curator of the exhibition shown in Berlin “La porte étroite” presents the Berlin exhibition in her article. She does this in the context of African art production about which there remains either relatively little or only clichéd knowledge, both within Africa and in the rest of the world. On the one hand, the politics and criticism of culture in Africa are not yet well established or professionalised, on the other hand, African artists are still fighting against being stereotyped by the international art market. Youma Fall rebuts these prejudices, both as curator of the exhibition and as writer in her contribution to the dossier. |+| full text article (French & German)
Didier Houénoudé: L’art contemporain de l’Afrique dans le prisme du questionnement identitaire
In his contribution “L’art contemporain de l’Afrique dans le prisme du questionnement identitaire“, the cultural academic Didier Houénoudé resists the call for a common African identity and culture. Firstly, such an “Africanité” would negate the cultural and artistic diversity of the continent and secondly, it would only serve to segregate Africa from the western world, equated as it still is with modernity and advancement. Such segregation would leave Africa looking backwards at its traditions and myths. Hence Didier Houénoudé puts the case for openness, for an “identity in the making,” which allows African artists to present themselves first and foremost as “contemporary” artists and to continuously ask and answer the question of identity as mirrored by their experiences, personal contact with people and their artistic work. |+| full text article (French & German)
Gabi Ngcobo: It’s Work as Usual: Framing Race, Class and Gender Through a South African Lens
In her article, the artist and curator Gabi Ngcobo who lives in South Africa discusses photographic art. Using selected examples, the author depicts the irritation, public discussions and protests which ensued from art projects critically scrutinising the entanglement of race, class and gender in South Africa. Gabi Ngcobo also reflects on her own curatorial work. |+| full text article (English & German)
Julien Enoka Ayemba: Re/Visions - African Perspectives on Contemporary Arts
Through the presentation of the film series Julien Enkola Ayemba, curator of the series, addresses the issue of how African films are received in Germany and also the great art events on the African continent, above all the film festival FESPACO, which takes place every two years in Ouagadougou/ Burkina Faso. The films shown in Berlin had been selected from the last FESPACO and so mirrored the current state of film-making on the continent. |+| full text article (French & German)
Shailja Patel: Power to Name Ourselves: Poetry and Spoken Word in Contemporary Kenya
The poetry performer Shalija Patel presents the rediscovery of the oral tradition in a new form in her article “Power to name ourselves: Poetry and Spoken Word in contemporary Kenya.” In 2006 Patel organised the first open “Poetry Slam” in Nairobi and thereby created for the first time the opportunity on a larger platform for creative debate via poetry on historical and socio-political themes. Above all, however, the Kenyan is concerned with finding her own words to convey her greatest joys and deepest fears. |+| full text article (English & German)