Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles

Poetry from South-Africa


FROM THE ARCHIVE 2: December 10, 2017

Following in the footsteps of their predecessors, this new generation has taken up the social and revolutionary potential of poetry; they have grasped it between two hands, stretched it, pulled it apart, and moulded it back together in their own way, with an array of multi-disciplinary influences from hip-hop, jazz, visual art, film, and performance.

Candice Allison on poetry in South-Africa
Robin Rhode, The Moon is Asleep, 2015. Super 8mm film transferred to digital HD, duration 1 min 50 sec, images courtesy of the artist and Stevenson Gallery.

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The art world in South Africa observed


FROM THE ARCHIVE 1: February 2016:

Thuli Gamedze – a middle class Black person, as she calls herself – observes the art world in South Africa, specifically in Cape Town, in an attempt to reconcile personal encounters in various art spaces that seem to present multiple tensions between viewer, artist, art object, and gallery structure- due to the latter’s implied neutrality.

Memory  drawing of Sophia Lehulere (2015, chalk on blackboard, 70 x 100cm) of ‘Untitled’ painting by Gladys Mgudlandlu (undated, gouache on paper, 51 x 70cm), part of ‘History Will Break Your Heart’, of Kemang Wa Lehulere, 2015.

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Frida Orupabo

FridaLies, 2022, IMG_M8_IMG_8081 2 web

To gaze at the artist’s work is to encounter the vagaries of history, to be fixed in a time mitigated by the whims of the clock, an arbitrary sequence that fails to account for how Black femininity exists both within and without modernist time.

Sihle Motsa on the work of Frida Orupabo
Lies, 2022

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Yinka Shonibare

ThembeHybrid Sculptor (Terpsichore,Bete-Guro Mask)

Shonibare created an exhibition where he wanted to show the spiritual and universal function of the African aesthetic. He created a stylised collection of works that he sought to find an historic discourse for without losing the trace of the abstract and literal interaction with western influences.

Themba Tsotsi writes about the work of Yinka Shonibare
Hybrid Sculpture (Terpsichore/Bété Guro Mask)

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Africa Fashion, V & A, London


We aim to give our audiences a glimpse of the glamour and the politics of the African fashion scene. We hope that people come away with the view that African fashions are undefinable, always changing, always refusing to be pigeon-holed. We want audiences to come away inspired by the magnificence of African creativity and to want to find out more.

Christabel Johanson interviews the curator of Africa Fashion, till April 16 at V & A, London
Aso Lànkí, Kí Ató Ki Ènìyàn (‘We greet dress before we greet its wearer’) collection, 2021, Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos Space Programme. Photo: © Kadara Enyeasi

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