Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles

Sungi Mlengeya


There is a multitude of ways on how to make entry into Mlengeya’s world. We could start with the women in the work, young and beautiful, very reflective of the artist’s locality, Uganda for having one of the youngest populations and East Africa for having some of the most good-looking ladies on the continent.

Matt Kayem on the black and white paintings of the Tanzanian artist Sungi Mlengeya
In the hems of our skirts, 2020

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Art Collectives in Mali


I think Mali has everything to offer. In this culturally rich country, artists are very open, knowing how to share without condition. This makes us exemplary.

Joyce Pennekamp on the art collectives in Mali
Abdoulaye Konaté, rouge vert au kente, 2020

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Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory

ToyinA Pull_at_the_Back_of_the_Mind, 84 X 50 inches, 2019, courtesy Jack Shainman

Using only drawing materials such as pencil and charcoal, Ojih Odutola tackles the body of work much like a poem or novel. The artist was said to spend months crafting images that created a structure similar to chapters of a novel.

Christabel Johanson on Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola
Toyin Ojih Odutola, A Pull at the Back of a Mind, 2019 © Toyin Ojih Odutola. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

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Mphe Mphe ya Lapisa: a solo by Levy Pooe


The work of Levy Pooe is beautiful and agonizing at the same time depending on your sensibilities. It is layered and many things at the same time. It presents a mirror for you to look at and decide what you see, but remember reflections are not always accurate.

Mbe Mbhele on the work of Levy Pooe
The Barbershop, 2020

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Moira Bushkimani


I grew up in a neighbourhood next to Kibera, so even as a child I found some joy looking for treasures in heaps of trash with my childhood friends. I would then take these objects back home and tell elaborate stories about them. So using found objects has always been a norm.

Thadde Tewa meets Moira Bushkimani from Kenya.
Moira Bushkimani posing with her work | Courtesy the artist

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