Contemporary African art to change Africa’s narrative?

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A series of articles and reports to follow


Through a series of articles and reports, Amanie Magazine observes the current development of contemporary African art in Europe.
Does it impact Africa’s narrative?
Is this one changed?
Shall we talk about a new era?
What do African artists perceive?
and many more questions

africa narrative
crédits : @najee.dorsey

This visual has inspired us; even if it does not exclusively refer to African art.
And we would like to know what the situation is for contemporary African art in Europe.
Indeed, European main cities organise now various events dedicated to African art and the media relay them.

Until a few years ago, only artists, specialists, academics, some art professionals and enthusiasts were closely interested in what was often described as “African naive art“.
In addition to the proliferation of events, there is also a larger and more diverse public interested, even passionate, in the artworks of contemporary African artists. On the other hand, many of them create more than before in Europe and have a larger audience there.
For sure telecommunications and transport have been playing a role to play. Social media maintain this effort, being a magnificent showcase of a part of contemporary African art.

Maedany” art lover, blogger and photographer

Since 2014, Dany has been sharing her favourite photography and contemporary art on her blog. It is by following her heart that she decided to combine her passion and her professional life. Thus, in 2018 the communication agency MAEDANY was created.
Dany travels through exhibitions, museums, galleries and cultural events with a keen eye. She’s now recognised as one of the key players on the French-speaking scene of African art.

credit: MAEDANY

Maedany on Contemporary African art in Europe

With more than 5 years spent appreciating contemporary art, especially the works of African artists, Dany shares with us what she has observed.

Amanie: “How does contemporary African art change the way Africa is represented in Europe?”
Dany: “From a general point of view, the appeal is still timid. However, the artworks of contemporary African artists are winning more media coverage. The public is increasingly present at events. This marks a real change!”

What do you think initiated this?

“Contemporary African art has established itself through its presence in biennials, fairs, exhibitions and international meetings… And I would say that all these events are themselves driven by the desire to reveal African creativity on the one hand, and openness to diasporas on the other.”

Shall we also consider a Generation change?

Yes, and vision!
Until recently, contemporary African art had difficulty integrating into Europe. There was above all the domination of the ethnological and mystical image, with religious and spiritual symbols. This fascination has always existed for social and philosophical needs. The purely artistic element was veiled.
With a new relationship, a different approach, an openness to other points of view; we change the paradigm. This is where we can talk about generational change. This is not just a new trend as it seems to be believed.”

Let’s talk about the future, how do you see it?

“Communication tools, social media, offer real global visibility to African artists. Not to mention technological progress.
The stakes have widened: artists perform and sell internationally.
African art is better exported. All this is starting to sow seeds.”

To follow: African contemporary art in Norway