Curating in Africa Symposium At Tate Modern: The Future of African Art

I was glad to have stumbled upon this much needed dialogue in the global fusion of our shared art and spaces. I only really started following the works of the famous Tate in Great Britain, when they invited iconic Ghanaina photographer James Barnor to be a part of their Another London Exhibit in honor of the London Olympics -befitting the celebration and exhibition of the images of the immigrant experience in London from 1930-1980.

I am elated to see that the dialogue is being had locally and globally with global African curators finding their spaces and places to have dialogue about the experience and future of Global African Art in our global fusions and connections- in its challenges as well as in its triumphs. Africa/ Africans must realize our worth in the Arts. We can never live up to our worth unengaged-when the most engaged are putting value to our worth. We are so engaged and distracted by the politricks of our politics and the condition of continuing our conditioning that as Malcolm X said “Even Our Condition has been Conditioned“! If we wait for foreign investment to preserve our present, to honor our past/legacy,  and to build our future- then we will have none but ourselves to blame when it is delivered in a foreign image, but for many a foreign image is relative.

Africa and its global fusion and global connection is The Future according to  the New York Times, rebranding by Luomo Vogue, NGO merchandising and catch phrases; but who is the future being built for and by. The arts in and of Africa in its global interests is at an all time high and without a proper foundation in structure, global African purveyors of culture/curators engaging their local communities in working together in trust toward one goal in forward movements beneficial to the masses, we will only be going in an endless circle of rebranding the past and selling it to the future without much being changed except the generation rebranding and selling to the future. The foundation and  blueprint was already set by the founders of Pan-Africanism who saw that the Arts were and will always be an intricate part of our foundation and future in development of our locally global worth, power and sovereignty. We must build our own from the foundation given as to give an elevated foundation to the future.  #ArtIsAWeapon #UseItWisely!

Let’s Continue the Dialogue ,while putting in the work collectively!  Unity & Working Together are action words. As Joel Osteen saidYou will never rise above the image you have of yourself in your own mind.”.

Curators Working In Africa can not work In Isolation and  there’s incredible need to engage with local communities and audiences and build those in their respective countries…Is Development and aesthic project? ” Curating in Africa Symposium at Tate -International Partnerships

We must use our positions of power for forward movements that are locally and globally beneficial for the masses as well as the 1%.  Finding this balance between the service of the two will always be our human cross to bare in staying comfortably in the middle without veering off too far toward either side, as to not set off our own and the collective demise.

Get to know Future Africa :Elvira Dyangani Ose = #GlobalFusionist 

“The recent appointment of Elvira Dyangani Ose as the curator of international art at Tate Modern with a focus on Africa marks a significant development not just for the recognition of art from the continent, but also because it shows how the gallery is expanding the boundaries of modern art to become more inclusive.

Dyangani Ose’s position, which is supported by a Nigerian company, the Guaranty Trust Bank, is part of the Tate’s remit to acquire contemporary African art for its collection.

Born and raised in Spain but with roots in Equatorial Guinea, Dyangani Ose studied art history in Barcelona, where she was encouraged by her professor to exhibit art. Her first curatorial experience involved pop-up exhibitions in the early 1990s, organised with fellow students in the university’s corridors, rooms and gardens, and featured the work of young urban artists working outside the mainstream.

Her own journey into African art was atypical. She did not conform to the notion that “because I was black and I was African, I had to research African art”. In fact, she did the opposite.

“I was interested in other subjects. I wanted to talk about cities, how individuals can change a given space and can produce a social space from there,” Dyangani Ose said.

Later, she became more aware of African art, studying the path of socialism in Africa and discovering how colonial cities were transformed after independence. She looked at how artists reflected on change  “and that was to me a first access to Africa, through the idea of the city”.

One of her first exhibitions in Spain explored perceptions about art in Equitorial Guinea and the ways in which contemporary writers, rappers and artists “were challenging the notion of the Guinea [that] people have in their minds”. 

She was appointed curator at the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno in Las Palmas on Grand Canary. The island is geographically closer to Africa than Spain and is a showcase of African art. Read More

Curating in Africa Symposium 

“This symposium brought together leading curators involved in some of the most active areas of artistic production in Africa to address the current state of curatorial practice in this region.

The Curating in Africa symposium, organised by Kerryn Greenberg (Curator, International Art, Tate Modern) in collaboration with Tate National, and funded by the World Collections Programme (WCP), brought together seven leading curators involved in some of the most active areas of artistic production in Africa to address the achievements of and challenges facing curators working in Africa today.

The participants were Meskerem Assegued (Zoma Contemporary Art Center, Ethiopia); Raphael Chikukwa (National Gallery of Zimbabwe); Marilyn Douala Bell (Doual’art, Cameroon); N´Goné Fall (Independent Curator, Senegal); Abdellah Karroum (L’appartement 22, Morocco); Riason Naidoo (South African National Gallery) and Bisi Silva (CCA Lagos, Nigeria).”

Check out this great blog Shantology by Shantrell P. Lewis -a Black American Curator giving us blow by blow (literally) of the challenges of global African curation and our global fusions/connections.

Nneka Lyrics
” Africans ”
U keep pushing the blame on our colonial fathers
U say they came and they took all we had processed
They have to take the abuse that they have caused our present state with their intruding history
Use our goodness and nourishment in the Name of missionary
Lied to us, blinded slaved us, misplaced us, strengthen us, hardened us then
They replaced us now we got to learn from pain
Now it is up to us to gain some recognition
If we stop blaming we could get a better condition

Chorus
Wake up world!!
Wake up and stop sleeping
Wake up Africa!!
Wake up and stop blaming
Open ur eyes!!
Stand up and rise
Road block oh life penalty

Why do we want to remain where we started
And how long do we want to stop ourselves from thinking
We should learn from experience that what we are here for this existence
But now we decide to use the same hatred to oppress our own brothers
It is so comfortable to say racism is the cause
But this time it is the same colour chasing and biting us
Knowledge and selfishness that they gave to us, this is what we use to abuse us

Chorus

Those who have ears let them hear
Brothers who are not brainwashed take ruins and rest
Pick them up and stick them back together
This is the only way we can change this African weather
Lied to us, blinded slaved us, misplaced us, strengthen us, hardened us then
They replaced us now we got to learn from pain

Chorus

You got to wake up please
You got too
(Wake up Africa, wake up and stop blaming)
Blaming ha, ha, ha
Open yours eyes your eyes
Stand up and rise
Road block oh life penalty

“Made In Africa”

[INTRO VOICE 1]
Scholars and scientists now conceive that Africa is the first place of mankind
Africans were the first builders of civilization
They discovered mathematics, invented writing, developed sciences
Engineering, medicine, religion, fine arts, and built the Great Pyramids
An architectural achievement which still baffles modern scientists’

[INTRO VOICE 2]
The 225th Emperor [echo] direct descent from Solomon and The Queen of Sheba [echo]
He is the “King of Kings, The Lion of Judah [echo]”
The name Haile Selassie I means “Power of the Trinity”

[Verse 1: Stephen Marley]
Educate yourselves, of Africa
To liberate yourself, Africa
Keep your heads up high
No more will we cry
Eeeeyh

Our history that they stole, Africa
Is written in our souls, Africa
Oldest nation on this earth
Know just what you worth
Well well

Ships that sail to distant places
Robbed us of our rising worlds
History says that you’ve betrayed us
Talking of the Gods you serve
Hear the rambling in the sky
Tears that our fore fathers cry
And today we’re still in chains
Take the shackle from our minds
You’re the corner stone
The king upon the throne

How beautiful are thou, Africa
Our nation have to bow, Africa
Don’t you fall from grace
You’re that secret place
Aye! Aye-ah-aye!

[Verse 2: Wale]
Power to the people, Motherland representa
I’m on trial with the man she my co-defendant
And I demand her attention, can you focus women?
I’m getting closer to the sky errytime I hit it
Haile Selassie I, “Power of the Trinity”
Soul made in naija, my voice made in Italy
White mans world that I’m livin’ in, some say
But it was Africa the continent we all came from
Can’t nothing come between me and you
So before I have seeds gotta understand my roots
Gotta understand the truth. We is all king’s ’round here
Lifes not all fair, work till we fall dead
Paul goin’ hard ’till I urn like a Pall-Bearer
Although my body’s in the U.S my heart’s there
I can never be ashamed of her, I got my features and my name from her
Mama Africa

[Verse 3: Stephen Marley]
The richest place on earth
Know just what your worth

[HARMONIZING WITH MUSIC]
Talking about the God you serve
[HARMONIZING WITH MUSIC]

Keep your heads up high
No more will we cry

They infiltrate our homes, Africa
They claim it as their own, Africa
Now we must stand tall
To break down all these wall-alls
Well well

Our children must be taught, of Africa
The science and the art, Africa
Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nahhh!

Educate yourself, Africa
To liberate yourselves, Africa
Keep your heads up high
No more will we cry

Beautiful are thou, Africa
A legend have to bow, Africa
Oh Oh!

Made in Africa, We share Africa (We share Africa)
Made in Africa, We share Africa (We share Africa)
Made in Africa, We share Africa (We share Africa)
Made in Africa, We share Africa (We share Africa)
Made in Africa, We share Africa (We share Africa)
Made in Africa, We share Africa (We share Africa)
Made in Africa, We share Africa (We share Africa)