Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

The gay stories of John Bankston


The coloring book and existing fairy tales may be his most important inspiration, but there are more influences. His work is a tribute to folk art because of the imagery, the setting and the absence of nuance. It also refers to the comic book tradition. When you see a presentation of Bankston’s work, it reads like a comic strip, it reads like a coherent story with a scene on every page. With one big difference: the viewer has to ‘write’ his own text.

Rob Perrée on the work of John Bankston
Give and Take, 2006.

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The art world in South Africa observed


Thuli Gamedze – a middle class Black person, as she calls herself – observes the art world in South Africa, specifically in Cape Town, in an attempt to reconcile personal encounters in various art spaces that seem to present multiple tensions between viewer, artist, art object, and gallery structure- due to the latter’s implied neutrality.

Memory  drawing of Sophia Lehulere (2015, chalk on blackboard, 70 x 100cm) of ‘Untitled’ painting by Gladys Mgudlandlu (undated, gouache on paper, 51 x 70cm), part of ‘History Will Break Your Heart’, of Kemang Wa Lehulere, 2015.

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New work of Zanele Muholi


Her endeavor at writing with light or rather writing herself into being, being black, blacks out in the face of her existential positionality. Instead of offering a critical reflection on negrophobia, Muholi’s game of parody gets entangled in negrophilia. This isn’t to disavow the potentiality of subversion, but to note the risky slippage of it subsidizing the already existing white jouissance. From this point of view, activism meets stasis.

Athi Mongezeleli Joja on the new photoworks of Zanele Muholi.
Somnyama Ngonyama 2, Oslo, 2015

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Endale’s visual imagination

BBDImage 22 b, Sunfall, (YeMata Jember),


Strolling from one to the other housetop,
Rambling to stroke the mount’s cap.
See the shade, beneath,
where it can’t ……..
stretch itself, long enough.
See man’s shadow track …….
broken rough, emptied and lethargic.
Mulegeta Tafese on the Ethiopian artist Endale.

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Thierry Oussou


“Suffering feels like coals that burn on your skin. That’s what I do with paper. I paste multiple layers of different types of paper onto each other and then I burn holes in it with coals.” Oussou stresses: “Remember, without suffering there is no happiness.”

Rosalie van Deursen on the work of Thierry Oussou, one of the artists in ‘What about Africa?’ at Witteveen Visual Art Centre, Amsterdam.
Trace XI, 2015.

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February edition 2016.

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