Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles

Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu's Eye Spy, 2012

She depicts Goddesses, monsters, and animals that incorporate a new and subversive mythology. She facilitates a transgression and in turn makes the viewer an accomplice in decoding imagery. If the female body does carry the language and nuances of culture, there is something conspiratorial in taking imagery— subverting it—and creating a new language.

Hannah Snyder on the work of Wangechi Mutu.
Eye Spy, 2011.

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Charl Landvreugd: Ososma


Emotion is a significant force in Landvreugd’s art. And of course, it helps if you know something of the artist’s background and if you take an interest in the public debate on colonialism and racism in the Netherlands. Landvreugd seems to want to combine knowledge and emotion. By doing so, he creates space for the possibility of insight beyond the personal and the anecdotal.

Machteld Leij on Ososma, the solo exhibition of Charl Landvreugd

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Matt Kayem: Something Big in Nairobi


Yah, the present day African is still suffering from the effects of the Berlin Conference and they still need to be reminded that they were great before that happened, that they are beautiful in their skin and that their lands are precious. So I borrow from African history, Buganda traditional culture, black nationalistic teachings and African-American culture/pop-culture.

Thadde Tewa interviews Ugandan artist Matt Kayam

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Art as Therapy for African Refugees

Therapy5photoMiri Davidovitz

Art therapy is not just used in Western countries but utilised across the globe. In particular it is a useful tool when language is an issue. The benefits of art therapy are even more vital for vulnerable groups such as the elderly, the young, or refugees. For example many refugees who have escaped persecution from African countries will have harrowing experiences to process. This is why organisations like Kuchinate are helping ease the pain of integration by providing a supportive community for those who are exiled. Many of the women are survivors of rape, abuse, torture or trafficking.

Christabel Johanson on art as therapy for African refugees
Photo: Miri Davidovitz

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Lina Iris Viktor: Elevating black{ness]


Enthusiast of 24-karat gold or not, what is undeniable is that Lina Iris Viktor’s work provides with food for thought; she graciously interweaves complex aesthetics with conceptual and political commitment.

Raquel Villar-Pérez on Lina Iris Viktor

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