Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Autograph ABP presents Rotimi Fani Kayode: (1955-1989)

Autograph ABP presents Rotimi Fani Kayode: (1955-1989) Photographs in partnership with the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at the Rudenstine Gallery, Harvard University. A retrospective exhibition of large-scale colour and black and white photographs by Rotimi Fani-Kayode, including archival works exhibited in the USA for the first time.

Produced during the 1980s in a career spanning only six years, often in collaboration with his late partner Alex Hirst, Fani-Kayode’s photographic scenarios constitute a profound narrative of sexual and cultural difference, seminal in their exploration of complex notions of diaspora, identity, spirituality and the black male body as subject of desire.

A founding member and first Chair of Autograph ABP, Fani-Kayode died in 1989. This exhibition marks twenty years since Fani-Kayode’s death, and is closely linked to the establishment of Autograph ABP’s Archive and Research Centre for Culturally Diverse Photography at Rivington Place, London.

Exhibition takes place at the Neil and Angelica Rudenstine Gallery, W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University. 104 Mt. Auburn St., 3R, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Rudenstine Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday, 9AM - 5PM

Saturday, 24 January 2009

F.Y.I The Kumasi Symposium- if there are still spaces


One means of Tapping Local Resources for Sustainable Education through Art is by bringing together specialists from diverse parts of the world in a trans-national platform for inter-trading of cultural and knowledge capital in evidence-based society. In the Kumasi Curio Kiosks Project, the trade of intellectual capital from the specialist to the generalist requires both the sharing of existing and onward replication of the modules of knowledge that may accrue. Interestingly, the specialist participant will create a Curio Kiosk of 6 x 6ft for a temporary exhibition/stock of works by the specialist, and relevant other national cultural/intellectual capital for trading with the locals. The 6 x 6ft kiosk can be conceived as a mental space or a constructed physical space with any material, constructed on site or pre-fabricated, and as an individual enterprise or a collaborative one.

In the Kumasi case, we refer to the cluster of curio kiosks as a Trade Commune; a historical allusion be made subtly but we use the term "curio kiosks" in anticipation that the outward design will invoke curiosity or content will bear special attraction to the locals. The setting for a Trade Commune may be a Kumasi city street, university campus, or a village within the Kumasi metro, as appropriate to the design of the arts participant. The mode of exchange is open in manners of traditional lectures, demonstrations, workshops, dialogical methods, and direct exchanges of material culture; or the post-modernist modalities in the way of performances, slide/new media/film screenings, and a hundred others. A trade may be by barter, cash, gift to the local or what ever is simpler and mutual. The trade is not just an inventory of arts data, cross-cultural process of negotiation and sharing of evidence creation; it is an engagement in a particular kind of commercial enterprise through use of the arts. Relying on collaboration, and free exercise of the arts, we therefore seek to stimulate for intellectual freedom and renewed vision of the arts as economic-cultural capital in the city. Because the process and structure encourages integration/assertion of the participant's institutional knowledge and national cultural capital, the supposition is that the individual or group would attract sponsorship for own costs from home institution or country.

The Kumasi Curio Kiosks Project is a project session of "The Kumasi Symposium: Tapping Local Resources for Sustainable Education through Art". The arts-based social experiment is designed to provide a context that will stimulate the artist, scholar and activist participants to place themselves and their practice into question and possibly resolutions through collaboration and cultural/artistic interchange. The pre-symposium session will run from July 31-August 8 2009 and the symposium from July 11-14 2009. About 30 local artists will be selected to work alongside some invited international colleagues.

If interested in participating in the project, send an introductory material on you, and a statement of interest with sketches/description of your proposed 6 x 6 ft Curio Kiosk that should be set up at Kumasi between July 31-August 7 2009 to africoae@gmail.com,
-indicate if any local needs will be required (max. one page). Space is limited; all submissions will be reviewed until space is filled. We are also accepting nominations for the Project Co-Curator, Convener, Provocateur and Roundtable Discussants.

The participant will then develop a Five-Minute Video art piece that will document or frame the process and structure of own/others' (Curio Kiosk) practice in context of the largeness of The Kumasi Symposium. The project needs a producer to guide the artists in creating a multi-media documentary of their practice- one who will enable the artists to shoot and edit the video films.


THE KUMASI SYMPOSIUM: Tapping Local Resources for Sustainable Education through Art
Department of General Art Studies, College of Arts and Social Sciences,
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana
July 31-August 14, 2009

Our 2009 Kumasi event uses arts-based social practice to bringing together specialists from diverse parts of the world in a trans-national platform for inter-change of cultural and knowledge capital in evidence-based society to strengthen visual arts practice and promote cultural entrepreneurship in Ghana. A call is, thus, made for contributions addressing one or more of the symposium sub-themes: Art Education Practice, Studio Practice, Curatorial/Museum/Community Arts Practice, Art History/Criticism, Arts Administration/Management/Marketing Practice, and Open Session. Specifically, the symposium entails plenary sessions and support activities such as demonstrations/workshops, exhibitions, and site-specific tours of local national resources. Expression of interest and proposals for Plenary Sessions and Exhibitions/Practical Workshops will be reviews until January 17, 2009. Applications for individual presentation and participation will be reviewed until the space is filled. We expect about 200 participants from around the world. The working language of the conference will be English. All abstracts and brief biographies should be submitted to africoae@gmail.com. More at http://afropoets.tripod.com/eta

Friday, 9 January 2009

Autograph ABP presents Santu Mofokeng at Rivington Place

14th January- 28th February
Santu Mofokeng, solo exhibition Rivington Place.

‘One of the most important photographers of his generation’ - Simon Njami

Santu Mofokeng produces photographs that refuse to be overtly political, but nonetheless contain a fundamental political dimension. He seeks a broader story about black life in which people are portrayed as more than just urban activists locked into violence.

His landscapes are spaces invested with public memory and spirituality, and he investigates them in relation to ownership, ecological impact and power. His Bloemhof Portfolio tells of the lives of rural tenant farmers, and he continues to photograph industrial sites around the world, such as opencast mines, and dams. Chasing Shadows is a documentation of religious ceremonies in caves, public parks or urban waste ground. It includes photographs taken at the Motouleng Caves in the Free State, some of which feature his brother Ishmael shortly before his death from Aids.

At a time when there was a public debate in South Africa about the fate of sites such as Robben Island, Mofokeng’s interest in places invested with meaning led him to investigate his and other countries’ monuments and sites of public memory. He travelled to British concentration camp sites in South Africa, to Namibia where the Herero were nearly wiped out under German colonialists, to Ravensbruck, Auschwitz, Nagasaki, Hanoi and other sites of atrocity.


Saturday 17 January 3 - 4pm
Gallery tour by Santu Mofokeng of his exhibition.

Thursday 22 January 6.30 – 7.30pm
Gallery tour by George Shire, Zimbabwean political analyst and cultural critic.

Thursday 29 January 6.30-7.30pm
Gallery tour by Admas Habteslasie, whose ongoing documentation of Eritrea, Limbo, has won him solo exhibitions in both London and the USA.

Thursday 5th February 5pm – late
In-house café Lati Ri will be serving South African music, food and drink, and screening Tsotsi, the first S.A. film to win an Oscar. Film starts 7pm.

Saturday 14 February 3 - 4pm
Gallery tour by Vanley Burke, who has been documenting black communities in the Midlands since 1967, and visiting South Africa since 1996.

Saturday 21 February 3 - 4pm
Gallery tour by Autograph ABP’s Senior Curator, David A Bailey

Thursday 26th February 6.30-7.30pm
Gallery tour by Autograph ABP’s Curator, Indra Khanna

Other events to be confirmed. Please visit www.rivingtonplace.org for updates.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The Revisiting Modernization Conference

To be held from 27th - 31st July 2009 at
University of Ghana, Legon

(*N.B.: The deadline for the submission of abstracts has been extended until
January 15th, 2009)

Conference Theme

Revisiting Modernization is an interdisciplinary array of activities that features an academic conference, art exhibition, creative writing competition, film screenings, and two keynote addresses to be held at the University of Ghana, Legon, from 27th - 31st July 2009. These activities, a collaboration between the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon and the African Studies Multi-Campus Research Group at the University of California, inaugurate an inclusive approach to thinking about the resonance of modernization in relation to the contemporary lexicon of globalization and the shifting parameters of development. This event is conceived as a forum with pre-circulated papers and contributions from a wide range of academics, policymakers, and artists from the African continent, North America, Europe, and beyond.

We invite academic interventions that explore the significance of modernization on the African continent from critically informed perspectives in the humanities and social sciences that include historical, socio-anthropological, literary, art historical, and cultural/media studies approaches. We seek to organize a collective reflection on the nature of modernization as it has been inflected and transformed since the era of African independence. In addition to evoking the role of transnational developments across the South as an important site of inquiry, we seek to critically examine points of departure for and appropriations of modernization. As a series of techniques typically associated with Western technological expertise and historical experience, we would like to interrogate new ways of imagining modernization as a critique of ethnocentric developmentalism. Modernization as a series of discourses and desires is the overarching theme for the conference in order to specify questions of policy, culture and development and its location in African Studies.

Current interactions on the African continent with the “Asian Miracle,” along with the Brazilian and Indian, among other modernities, and the vitality of an emerging decentered world economy—once relegated to the anonymity of the Third World—must be grounded in an examination of modernization, and the will towards a new political and social future. This emerging future not only engages with the past, through the evocation of ancestors and rites of passage, such as funerals, but also provides a discontinuous view of historical and social transformations. It is the reexamination of this developmental notion of modernization into a new future that we seek to open up through the activities organized around this conference.

This conference will be the first of three conferences to be held over a five-year period on the African continent (Ghana 2009, Senegal 2011, South Africa 2013) that include academic and public events, initiated by the African Studies Multi-Campus Research Group at the University of California.

Thematic Areas

The academic papers presented at the Revisiting Modernization conference will be organized around five thematic areas:

1. Performativitiy and Modernization (2 panels)

This area addresses the relationship between performance and “performativity” as related to staging post-independence cultural traditions. Cultural traditions, including national theater, dance, musical ensembles, rites of passage, also refer to institutions and sites of commemoration where gender discourses and practices, among other social values, are asserted, maintained, and controlled. As integral to African state culture formations, the nature of performance culture and institutions in relation to the shifting terms of authenticity may serve to ground this discussion. A related question may focus on the construction of African Studies programs on the African continent (as opposed to African Studies abroad) and the stakes for knowledge of self and other.

2. Emerging Circuits of African Art Production and Exhibition (2 panels)

In relation to an exhibition featuring contemporary Ghanaian artists that illustrate techniques of training artists in Ghana, this thematic area addresses the circuits of production and distribution for African art. We solicit contributions that examine contemporary Ghanaian and other African art, and address the crucial relationship between the staging of exhibitions abroad and its relationship to local forms of production and knowledge on the African continent or in the diaspora. The sources and location of these artworks should be addressed as well as their relationship to the international art market.

3. Cultures of Modernization and Globalization (2 panels)

To what extent did the early independence discourse of modernization predict many of the networks of globalization present today? How has the “Asian Miracle,” along with the Brazilian and Indian, among other heralded sites of economic expansion, shifted understandings of modernity and created new practices of consumption? Is this indicative of an emerging modernity no longer simply hitched to the economic and cultural authority of the West? In order to examine the shifting tides of modernity in relation to modernization, this thematic area will address the practices and politics of consumption as well as the function of literary works among other vernacular sources, in order to examine how the effects of modernization and globalization are reflected in new modes of storytelling.

4. New Histories of African Film and Media (2 panels)
To what extent has an emerging realm of audiovisual media on the African continent functioned as a form of self-representation in specific postcolonial African contexts? The French and British colonial legacies of media aesthetics, as well as a developmental paradigm, have been swept aside by local forms of media that include video-films from Nigeria and Ghana, cinema from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia, but also local television, radio, the Internet, and cell phone technology. A reconsideration of film and media on the continent is also a means by which to ask how the project of modernization has been privatized and globalized through diasporic communities linked via technology, and what are the new terms for national identity via these emerging narratives.

5. Power, Infrastructure, and Modernization: Historical Approaches and Contemporary Debates (2 panels)
Since the 1950s, African governments, assisted by foreign donors and experts, have invested vast resources into large-scale development projects. They included hydro-electric dams, deep-sea harbors, “model” cities, and more recently oil pipelines. Their promoters, engaging with a modernization discourse, situated them at the center of nation-building. They triggered numerous expectations: powering modern amenities and factories, creating infrastructures and urban spaces, reshaping citizens, and forging national identities. Such projects were to provide the material base and ideological superstructure to achieve the aims of development, modernity, and nationhood. Lately, the role of oil exploration, and the stakes of energy politics have become a source of debate. This thematic area asks participants to explore the histories, politics, meanings, symbolic languages, and legacies of such large-scale development projects in relation to current energy politics.

Call for Papers

We invite submissions of a 500-word abstract that explores the conference theme Revisiting Modernization, in relation to one of the sub-themes. Please submit your abstract and a 50-word biographical statement as an MSWord attachment via email by 15 January 2009 to: africanstudiesmrg@ihc.ucsb.edu

Abstracts and biographical statements may also be mailed to:
UCSB/Humanities Center
African Studies MRG
Attention: Conference Proposals
6046 HSSB
Santa Barbara, California 93106-4010

Accommodation and Travel

Accommodations, meals and local transportation will be provided for all conference participants for the duration of the conference in Ghana. Travel stipends to Accra for conference participants will be available subject to funding. Further information about the availability of travel stipends and flight reservations will be provided by March 15, 2009.

Conference Conveners
Peter J. Bloom, UC-Santa Barbara
Takyiwaa Manuh, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon
Stephan F. Miescher, UC-Santa Barbara

For further inquires, please contact:


The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is please to present the second part of its Video Art Workshop programme LINHAIMAGINÁRIA (Imaginary Line), developed in collaboration with Angolan Artist Miguel Petchkovsky.

The two week workshop will be led by three international artists working in the area of Video; Miguel Petchkovsky (Angola), Goddy Leye (Cameroon), Eustaquio Neves (Brazil).

The workshop aims to:
• Provide artists with a good grasp of the concepts of Video Art within contemporary artistic practice
• Provide the technical ability to incorporate and create works of Video Art.
• To create project based on experimentation of the video image on the classic forms of art like painting, sculpture, music and theatre.
• To introduce new elements like performance. Installation, photography and sound projects.

Workshop content includes:
• Screening of artists videos from around the world
• Talks and presentations by the workshop artists
• Introduction to different video art approaches
• Development of participants own ideas, storyboard, visual concept etc
• Implementation of ideas and editing of individual works
• Screening of Video Art works to a public audience
• Receipt of DVD of the workshop, a CD of individual work/s

Dates: Monday 12th - Saturday 24th January 2009, 9am- 6pm
Venue: Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, 9 McEwen Street, Sabo, Yaba, lagos

Workshop Level: All Levels
Target Audience: Artists. Experience and/or interest in the visual arts preferable. Emphasis is on talent, motivation and a keen interest in experimenting in new forms of artistic production.

Fee: N10,000 non-refundable (first come first serve basis only) spaces are limited.

Application closes 5pm 10th January 2009

For more information call Oyinda on 07055680104 or email oyinda@ccalagos.org