Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles

Dak’Art 2018


As was often the case with its predecessors, the role of social developments is very much apparent in the works of the participating artists of Dak’Art 2018. There is no lack of sensible content. Fortunately that does not lead to pamphletistic art. It is precisely the power of a lot of contemporary African art that content and form are integrated.
The Dak’Art remains a biennial that counts.

Rob Perrée on the 13th edition of Dak’Art in Dakar, Senegal
Wallsculpture of Olanrewaju Tejuoso (detail)

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Black Chronicles IV

BChroiclesWellington Majiza, The African Choir. London, 1891. By London Stereoscopic Company. © Hulton ArchiveGetty Images. Courtesy of Hulton Archive, and Autograph ABP, London.

But caught between limits of representational possibilities and the contradiction of colonial representation, here portraiture finds itself in an interesting aporia. That is between an enchanting representation, and the existential reality of knowing oneself as a problem for humanity. This performative contradiction creates problems for the lauded humanizing acts of the photograph as a general conflict in Black Chronicles IV.

Athi Mongezeleli Joja on the travelling exhibition Black Chronicles IV
Wellington Majiza, The African Choir, London 1891. By London Stereoscopic Company.©-Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Courtesy of Hulton Archive and Autograph ABP, London.

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Caribbean Travelogues 4: Jamaica


In November last year Sasha Dees started travelling in the Caribbean region, researching the sustainability of contemporary art practices and the influence of international (exchange) projects, funding, markets and politics. During her research she will be keeping a travelogue for Africanah. Her first stop in the region was Ayiti (Haiti). In March she reported about her stay on Korsou (Curacao). In the April edition Aruba was reported on. This month she writes on Jamaica.

Tony Capellán, Mar Caribe, 1996.

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Beauford Delaney and Ted Joans


In 1975, photographer Marion Kalter grabs her camera and immortalizes the very moment that would trigger the desire to write this text. The crime scene takes place in Paris in Beauford Delaney’s studio located in rue Vercingétorix, Delaney and Ted Joans standing next to each other. Both of them were painters, and Joans was also a Surrealist as well as a jazz musician and poet. When looking at this picture in the 21st century, it is almost impossible to guess the many threads and double visions related to painting and music, jazz and poetry. Unless you start digging more.

Karima Boudou digs into the relation between the African-American artists Beauford Delaney and Ted Joans
Beauford Delaney, James Baldwin, 1965, courtesy Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York

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Orchestre Impala: peace-building through music in Rwanda


Our study focuses on revival of Orchestre Impala, a popular band from the Habyarimana era of the 1970s-80s. We hope this musical revival signals a politics of cultural healing in Rwanda, and coming to terms with the cultural past. This example shows how popular music can contribute to peace-building in post-genocide Rwanda, and perhaps elsewhere.

Rafiki Ubaldo and Helen Hintjens on peace-building through music
New and Old Orchestre Impala members together: Dieudonne Munyanshoza aka Mibilizi Paul Sebigeri aka Mimi la Rose

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