Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles

Walter O. Evans: collector of African American art & literature

If this exhibition was held in the USA, I would first want it to include my Frederick Douglass collection, now housed at the Beinecke Library at Yale University and now available digitally online for all the world to read. I also have several slave narratives in my collection which I would like to see included. I have only one item directly related to the Dutch involvement in slavery which I would have liked to have been included in the current Rijksmuseum exhibition: A Sermon, written by Jacobus Elisa Joannes Capitein, written in 1742, an extremely rare item in the original form.

Walter Evans about the slavery exhibition in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

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Pardon Mapondera


Among many other youths in Zimbabwe, Pardon Mapondera has followed this trajectory of working beyond the waithood, whether caused by the unavailability of resources or a global pandemic. On the path towards his own visual style, art wakes up Pardon Mapondera’s personal god of small things, with which he can make his “silent noise” heard.

Lifang ZHANG on Pardon Mapondera
Choda Ropa, 2020

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Pamela Enyonu: Nambi

Pamela Enyonu11

This brings me to the work of Pamela Enyonu “Nambi”, this project is an artist book in which Enyonu gives a sequel/epilogue to the tale of Kintu and Nambi, in the art book she weaves poetry and images to give the persona of Nambi a voice that engages with modern discourse, Nambi is reawakened to speak to those who thought of her as a thing of legend, in this book Nambi is engaging her audience in new lexicons and grammars (English) but she still speaks the language that her children knew her by.

Trevor Mukholi on the artbook ‘Nambi’ of Pamela Enyonu.

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Grief and Grievance conceived by curator Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019)

ZGallagher_Ellen_Dew Breaker_canvas

Okwui Enwezor saw “Grief and Grievance” as one of his most personal projects, and one of his most political. Within “Grief and Grievance,” mourning can be seen as a distinct form of politics, one that refuses a singular melancholy in favor of multifaceted forms of critique, resistance, and care.

Ellen Gallagher, Dew Breaker, 2015, courtesy the artist & Hauser & Wirth

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Liz Johnson Artur


For Artur photography is about cultivating trust between the artist and the subject. Her focus is on representing people the way they want to be represented. Documenting that in a picture is a form of conservation and she has kept her lens on the Black community, focusing on the everyday moments that present themselves.

Christabel Johanson on Liz Johnson Artur
Untitled, 1996-2012, courtecy Brooklyn Museum, copyright Liz Johnson Artur Read more »