All posts filed under: Social Change

Poetics of Location: Beyond “Africa Focus” of the Paris Art Fair 2017

Version  fraiçaise traduite par Janine Gaelle In the train from Paris to Berlin, I reflected on the events of the previous days. It was the last weekend of March 2017 and the Parisian art world was busy. This year, Paris decided to jump on the bandwagon of one of the most fashionable rave: the renewed focus on the African continent and its artists. The events, grouped under two main headings  – the Art Paris Art Fair and 100% Afrique – were further broken down into satellite programs of exhibitions and talks in such places as La Villette, Galeries La Fayette, Galerie Des Galeries, La Colonie and many more. The Art Paris Art Fair, however, was the most literal in its claim of focusing on Africa by adopting “Africa Guest of Honour” as its subtitle. In this, the well-meaning intention was to give African artists a world stage and the corresponding red carpet to showcase and sell their artistic productions. The Art Fair took place at the Grand Palais, a large historic site and exhibition hall built in 1897 in preparation for the Universal …

Reflections on “Return to N’djamena”

We have just returned from N’djamena after a very intense but super exciting 12 days. As some of you may have seen from all the postings on Facebook, the project was exciting and very well received by the N’Djamena public. The public engaged with the images displayed in a profound and unpretentious manner. They equally identified very much with the concept of Invisible Borders. What was intriguing (I believe, to them) was the fact that the exhibition featured mostly images from N’Djamena, but also Khartoum, Addis Ababa and a bit of Lagos and Abuja. From the feedback we picked up, the audience were able to situate themselves within the reality portrayed by the images. They identified familiar places, but were also able to project their imagination beyond as a result of the “openness” of the images and their tendency to depict occurrences in the public spaces of African cities. The N’Djamena audience was able to identify with the familiarity of places; people and structures proffered by the images, while at the same time relished the unorthodox gaze suggested by the creators of the images.

Exchange In Changing Times

@font-face { font-family: “Times New Roman”; }@font-face { font-family: “Calibri”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt; line-height: 115%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } As I sit to write this article, I am yet again confronted with a double intuition: should I? Should I not? This stems from the fact that the issue I intend to address contains aspects that lends itself as inevitably important because of its positive attributes, so much that it feels incomplete not to pen it down. But within this also contains situations that breed causes for unrest and scepticism usually seen with dealings of exchange involving these two concepts: Africa and the West. In my mind, it is as if this mixture is unpleasant, as if one contaminates the other, making the option of saving my mind’s breathe very tempting. But again, my mind has a way of rejecting all the sleeping pills especially if it is saddled with something worth sharing. So as an attempt, I …