All posts filed under: trans-Africa

In Search of The Collective

In beginning this reflection about the collective, I have, ringing at the back of my head, an Igbo saying: Igwe bụ ike which translates to “the collective is power”. This saying is in many ways fundamental to the social psychology of the Igbo people of Nigeria with whom I share a lineage. Elsewhere, Chinua Achebe, the acclaimed Nigerian novelist, and critic, referred to this as the Igbo’s preference for duality as opposed to singularity: “Wherever Something Stands, Something Else Will Stand Beside It”.1 Given that in many African cultures, the place of family and community is, in most cases, held in the highest regard, I can imagine this saying taking on different allegorical and idiomatic forms. Thus if art is to some tangible extent a mirroring of a people’s sociocultural contexts and realities, the notion of the collective as it relates to artistic practices from such places as Africa would be a given – a natural consequence of a way of being. Rightfully so, the collective from time immemorial has served to preserve something of the dignity …

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.

Sao Tome: Island of Greens and Decay

Sao Tomé. Until only a few days ago this Island has been somewhat of a miniscule dot on the map of my consciousness. I have heard of it, even managed to spot it in the map a few times, but I usually gloss over it with enough interest accorded to an obviously not interesting subject. Today, I am here. Invited by the biennale of Sao Tomé and Principle. A biennale initiated by the artist, João Carlos Silva and curated by Adeleide Ginga.