Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles

Canon Griffin: Clowning The Art Or Not?

You might ask yourself, what would be fascinating about the doll-like representations of humans? Is the artist playing with our minds? Is this just buffoonery? Why bring puppetry to the gallery? Well, why not? But there you have it. They are copies of us, made by us, meaning, they can easily stand in for us, which the artist does.

Matt Kayem on Posers of Canon Griffin.

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Caribbean Travelogue Part 2: Curacao

Curacao02_1996_Tony Capellán_Mar Caribe_S

In November last year Sasha Dees  started travelling in the Caribbean region, researching the sustainability of contemporary art practices and the influence of international (exchange) projects, funding, markets and politics. During her research she will be keeping a travelogue for Africanah. Her first stop in the region was Ayiti (Haiti), one of the islands in the region she has not spent any time before (see February edition). This time she reports from Korsou (Curacao).

Tony Capellán, Mar Caribe, 1996.

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Kemang Wa Lehulere: Concrete in Abstraction


Themba Tsotsi writes about the work of the South-African artist Kemang Wa Lehulere. Starting point are two exhibitions of Wa Lehulere at Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town: Here I am, a concrete man throwing himself into abstraction (2017) and To whom it may concern (2015).

I was never here (black out), detail, 2018.

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Adejoke Tugbiyele: I live by example


I want to continue using my work to empower, to heal and transform lives and to show how that worked for me and how that could be an aesthetic strategy for helping others. I intend to continue questioning the relationship between Africa and the West: where are we going, what are we doing? I also want to support my community to share what I learned and be an example for people who are marginalized based on identity.

Rob Perrée in conversation with Adejoke Tugbiyele.
The Plea – Stop the Violence, 2018.

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Mbithi Masya’s movie Kati Kati


I was grieving the loss of a close friend and during one of their wakes, I heard someone say that my friend was lucky because she had left all of the weight of the world behind. That got me thinking. What if that’s not true. What if some of this baggage follows us to the other side. That was the seed of the story and we developed the world from there with my co-writer Mugambi Nthiga.

Mbithi Masya about what inspired him to make the movie Kati Kati

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