Africa

post Presents: Unsettled Dust—Archives, Epistemologies, Images

These presentations and panel discussion at MoMA brought together four filmmakers and artists who work in expanded documentary modes, using existing footage, archival research, interviews, and scripted narratives to produce imaginative accounts of transnational struggles, solidarities, and interventions. Using moving images, some of these practitioners interrogate the anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movements of the mid-late 20th…

Beyond the Modern Architect: La Pyramide, African Labor, and Rinaldo Olivieri’s Lens in Abidjan

In this essay, Guillermo S. Arsuaga presents a critical examination of architectural modernism through the lens of one of the most renowned examples of modern architecture in Africa: La Pyramide designed by Italian architect Rinaldo Olivieri in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). His meticulous study of Olivieri’s unique photographic record of the project, the focus…

Opening the Path for a Feminine Abstraction: Malika Agueznay and the Casablanca School

Malika Agueznay was among the first woman modernist abstract artists in Morocco. She was a student at the Casablanca École des Beaux-Arts from 1966 to 1970, during the experimental tenure of the faculty known as the Casablanca School. Shaped by the formative experience within the school, she has also distinguished herself by the ways her research emphasizes her female identity. Throughout her career, she has elaborated on seaweed as a central motif in her abstract practice. This motif is both deliberately evocative of femininity and rooted in her own female perspective.

Safi Faye: Selbé et tant d’autres

Artist and author Nene Aissatou Diallo revisits Safi Faye’s 1982 portrayal of Selbé, a thirty-nine-year-old mother of eight from Fad’jal as she and her compatriots go about their daily routines, carried by song. This feature reflects on the visual portrayal of Selbé, and Faye’s use of the camera in a documentary produced as part of the series As Women See It.

Art for Liberation’s Sake: The Activist Art of Gavin Jantjes

In his screen-prints of the 1970s, South African artist Gavin Jantjes sought to convey the urgency and interconnectedness of global Black liberation movements. As an art student in exile in Hamburg, Jantjes dedicated his early practice to raising awareness of the brutal injustices of the apartheid system in South Africa, engaging with anti-colonial struggles waged by African and African-Diasporic populations around the world. In this essay, art historian Allison K. Young looks at a selection of early abstracted, dynamic compositions which evidence his belief in the connection between art and resistance, and his commitment to solidarity between localized struggles across the diaspora.

Breaking Down Binaries, Feeling Contradictions: Thoughts on Some of the Conundrums Concerning Art’s Ecologies

Sarah Lookofsky, former Associate Director of the International program at MoMA, rumintes on the presentations and conversations held on Day One of the 2022 C-MAP seminar. Lookofsky calls out the contradictions of art’s embeddedness with various ecologies, rehearsing her own writing-thinking as produced by a “dumpy dialectic.”