Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles at 5: Dread Scott, an activist who does not give up


I know Dread Scott for almost 25 years. He was participating in my travelling exhibtion Postrcards from Black America (1998-1999). He is one of these rare artists who makes political art that influences the public opinion. He has not only a clear message but he also knows how to use visual means to convey his message.

This interview was first published in January 2015. It is still relevant, so I like to publish it again.

On the impossibility of freedom in a country founded on slavery and genocide, performance, 2014.

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A Black Aesthetic: A View of South African Artists (1970-1990)

SB'The Poet' by Nathaniel 'Nat' Ntwayakgosi Mokgosi (1946-2002).

A Black Aesthetic: A View of South African Artists (1970-1990) was an exhibition in the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg. The presentation was curated by Dr Same Mdluli and was praised and criticized. Mdluli deceided to react on the critique she got. For Athi Mongezeleli Joja it was necessary to respond.

Nathaniel-Nat-Ntwayakgosi Mokgosi, The Poet

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Influence African Art in Europe


During the early 20th century many European artists were faced with the dichotomy between creating work for the then tastemakers and simultaneously recreating the idea of artistry at the time. By moving away from these norms artists such as Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani and Constantin Brancusi all began shifting their “efforts to move beyond the naturalism that had defined Western art since the Renaissance” (1). Although these artists had no understanding of the symbolic nature behind these “West and Central African sculptures they encountered, they instantly recognized the spiritual aspect of the composition and adapted these qualities” to their creations (2).

Xolani Shezi on the influence of African Art in Europe

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Arturo Desimone


“The day I began to live and behave in a more nomadic way, I kept notebooks that departed from my more usual forms of creative activity. These notebooks filled with bestiaries, drawings that combined human and animal figures, with symbols from the religions I have encountered, and notes from songs: an interplay of my experiences, suffering, pleasures, memories, poems, stories and forces surrounding me as I went about travelling like a wayfarer, a Homo Viator. Restless travelling does not change how the artist’s primary concern lies with inner experience… Geography looks absurd in relation to art.”

Arturo Desimone (1984, Oranjestad, Aruba), artist, writer, poet, about his work

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The Ouattara Brothers


The enormous drive for maintaining their traditions is probably the most important reason for the Ouattara brothers to make masks. As they were saying, many masks have been sold or stolen and are in museums nowadays, in Europe and the United States, but also in Africa. People are left with copies or reproductions of the masks they used before, as a result of which the meaning and the cultural significance of mask traditions has changed

Sanne Molenaar on the Ouattara brothers from Burkina Faso

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