Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles

Abri de Swardt’s Ridder Thirst LP project


This article is a commentary on the Ridder Thirst LP, a double 12” vinyl record produced by artist and writer, Abri de Swardt. A remarkable project.
The record includes commissioned tracks by artists, student activists, curators, academics, musicians and writers in response to the state of tertiary education at Stellenbosch University amidst the rise of student protests taking place at the University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Each of the four sides of the record presents two tracks in dialogue, pairing divergent formats such as judiciary documents, punk music, the lecture, the fable, spoken word poetry and paralinguistic expressions, to foreground listening as political act.

Bhavisha Panchia on Abri de Swardt’s project Ridder Thirst LP
Abri de Swardt, Ridder Thirst (still)

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Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

lynette8, Vigil For A Horseman (detail), 2017

Much like the work of authors, these are character studies of timeless protagonists who never existed but can have as much impact on audiences as literary heroes. Interestingly Yaidom-Boakye is also a writer, so she understands how to structure a story. Her pictures are a narrative without words.

Christabel Johanson on the British-Ghanaian artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Vigil For A Horseman (detail), 2017

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Portrait of a Friendship 2: Richmond Barthé and Richard Bruce Nugent


This is the second article in a series of articles on the friendship between two African American artists, a “friendship beyond understanding”. In every article The Harlem Renaissance plays a role.

Rob Perrée tries to answer the questions the friendship evokes.
Richmond Barthé, The Singing Slave, 1940

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Agnes Waruguru


I would say my practice is centered around me trying to understand myself, the world I’m living in, where I’ve come from and how my identity is affected by all the places that I navigate and move through.

Thadde Tewa on the Kenyan artist Agnes Waruguru
Photo: courtesy the artist

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Nirit Takele

NiritFigure in shape, acrylic on canvas, 100x80 cm,2020, Nirit Takele - Nirit Takele

In Nirit’s oeuvre, identity and existence are two complex issues, both of which define the being of the Ethiopian-Jews. On the one hand, they are bound to Israel through their religion, and on the other hand affiliated to Ethiopia through their appearance.

Enos Nyamor on the Ethiopian-Israeli artist Nirit Takele

Figure in shape, 2020

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