Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles

Dutch Pavilion in the Venice Biennial


Van Oldenborgh’s Cinema Olanda – and actually her entire oeuvre – could be read as an aphasia-countering therapeutic session of a nation partially in denial, and partially unaware – such as the art critics so tellingly demonstrated.  An endeavour that contributes to the birth of a new generation wanting and willing to finally come to terms with (post-) colonial melancholia and related repressive structures. These are the people who will be the forefront of a collective future: the unquestionable stars of a new generation.

Vincent van Velsen on Cinema Olanda of Wendelien van Oldenborgh in the Dutch Pavilion in Venice.

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#NOIMPOSTERSHERE: Political Jamming


The artists are reclaiming the street, personalizing public space, critically reflecting on how it has been, and is continuously, appropriated by others and the agendas they push. In entering this realm, with their own work in the form of posters, these artists alter the urban fabric of the city through its material form and resulting dialogue. They create physical sites of resistance to the dominant hegemony and communicate to people who take up and occupy these everyday spaces – roadsides, bus stops, estates, street corners etc.


Craig Halliday on ‘Political Jamming’ by the group #NOIMPOSTERSHERE from Nairobi.

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Black Women in Art


The miracle is, in fact, that, given the overwhelming odds against women, or blacks, so many of both have managed to achieve so much sheer excellence, in the face of violent, selective and shifting definitions of history and art, and in the face of direct suppression, omission, gatekeeping, lack of transparency, and outright unprincipled opportunism of unscrupulous gallerists, and their ilk.

Nkule Mabaso on the position of black female artists.
Nkule Mabaso, portrait.

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The BLK Art Group

Go West Young Man 1987 by Keith Piper born 1960

Their aim was to raise the profile of black artists and the Afro-Caribbean community through a series of sculptures, paintings and exhibitions. It was also an eye-opener for contemporary white artists as this political movement encouraged conversations on art reflecting culture and the state of how mainstream art did not include the experiences of the black population.

Chistabel Samuel on the British BLK Art Group
Go West Young Man, poster Keith Piper, 1987.

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Zanele Muholi

RobZanele Muholi, Ntozakhe II, Parktown, 2016

Because she knows all the people she makes portraits of and because she invites some of them more often to pose, watching these photos means looking at intimacy between two people. An intimacy comparable to the intimacy of the photo works of the American Nan Goldin, an artist whose work Zanele Muholi is familiar with. The ‘models’ feel free to look strong: they want to be seen.

Rob Perrée on exhibition of Zanele Muholi in the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum.
Zanele Muholi, Ntozakhe II, Parktown, 2016.

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