How can non-Africans support Pan-Africanism
The documentary exhibitionIn Africa - after many African states had gained independence - institutions such as art academies and museums were founded in the 1960s and funding programs for visual artists were set up, which have since been largely dismantled. The economic decline of African countries and the decline of the idea of what was hoped for a renaissance of African culture, has led to stagnation or even a abandonment of cultural engagement on the part of governments in view of the increasing dependence of Africa in the globally organized world.
In such a situation, associations and groups have been founded by artists in many African countries who relate to the local situation and - mostly for public space - develop and implement projects. Their engagement often brings them into conflict with the national authorities, especially when they address political issues and problems.
The exhibition "Simultaneously in Africa ..." showed a selection of 11 art projects and 4 art magazines. In it, the respective local situation and the intentions that led to its establishment as well as the biographical background of the initiators were presented. Realized projects were documented on the basis of photos and videos and the conditions of their production were made comprehensible: the rooms in which or for which the projects were developed and presented, their reception and the view and reactions of the audience to them. The initiators of these groups were asked in interviews about the artistic and political demands of their work.
The approaches of the various initiatives are as different as their geographical and social context, which is located in remote rural regions as well as in metropolises. These are exclusively independent projects that have not been imported from outside the continent, even if some of them have managed to raise the funds necessary for their implementation in Europe. Some also invited non-African artists to participate. The point here is by no means to continue to define the term African art in an essentialist way, but rather to gain an insight into artistic practice on the continent by means of a certain selection that does not claim to be representative.
Academy of Fine Arts, Nuremberg: June 3rd - June 17th, 2005
University of the Arts, Berlin: January 18-28, 2006
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