Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Rosalie van Deursen

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Patricia Kaersenhout: Uncovering and Healing Wounds


“I want to create awareness about the fact that there is also a black perspective of history. That’s why I fight against stereotypes in order for black people to regain dignity. To understand yourself is to understand your history. It is very important to know where you come from and what happened to your ancestors. ”

Rosalie van Deursen portraits Patricia Kaersenhout.
Mantle of Love (detail), 2014.

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Rehema Chachage. The intimacy and harshness of African women’s rituals

AfricanahRehema Chachage Mizizi Nasaba

“(…) I fight hard to create a space for people who are interested in exploring more contemporary and experimental styles of working. My dream is to create a platform for people who are interested in contemporary ways of making art, in dialogue, in exploring new ways to create and in going out there and performing all these interesting interventions and especially targeting Tanzanians!”

Says Tanzanian artist Rehema Chachage to Rosalie van Deursen.

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John Kamicha & Shabu Mwangi: Against the Stream


For both John Kamicha and Shabu Mwangi art is their way of reaching out to their fellow Kenyans and challenging them to reflect on the contradictions and opportunities of modern life in Nairobi. John Kamicha: “That’s what art is about for me: questioning things, not about adopting a style and selling beautiful images of wild animals to tourists, hotels and expats. I want to wake people up. Why keep quiet and pretend and act ignorantly? ”

Rosalie van Deursen on Kenyan artists John Kamicha and Shabu Mwangi.
Shuba Mwangi, My Dream.

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Body Politics

Marcia Kure 'The Three Graces' 2014 - detail - (2)

“(…)this exhibition shows six strong female African artists who, by using the body in different ways, express powerful messages. Their messages cover personal victories and visions on femininity, knowing one’s identity through one’s history, reflections on stereotypical thinking, healing the wounds of history by subverting one’s own body and reflections on the pain and alienation of being separated from one’s true identity. “

Rosalie van Deursen on body politics in the work of six female artists from Africa.

Marcia Kure, The Three Graces, detail, 2014

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Addis Ababa: city and its art scene under construction

Tamrat Gezahegn 7

“The new generation is dynamic and vibrant and they are fighting for an awareness of art in Ethiopian society in a different way than their predecessors. In their eyes, art is not about simply creating aesthetic images but about raising consciousness about contemporary societal topics. All these artists find it important to be socially engaged and create awareness through their art and their artistic collaborations.”

Rosalie van Deursen on contemporary art in Addis Ababa.

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