Thursday, 29 May 2008

Dak’Art 2008 and the future of Africa: a 1st timer’s recollections

Oh the delicate national dishes of Yassa and Chiebou Dienne! Let me reflect on the enduring tradition of communal eating and the legacy that sharing these dishes represent. Dakar is colour, elegance and vibrant culture. But there was South African Nkosikhona Bongamahlubi’s video, Prayer for Peace which addresses the ravages of war and its consequences that challenge Africa’s lost legacy of community and sharing. Robert Koko Bi’s Darfur, and Angele Etoundi’s Pretresses use of black suddenly becomes for us multiple metaphors that speak of and to the diversity of contradictions in Africa’s richness, blindness and brutality. The imagery of black has become to some of us Nigerians a dark reference of charred human remains from the endless waiting for the dividends of democracy still in the “Pipeline.” The critical question for me now is how do we transform/late these endeavours to “material” for negotiating positive change with our politicians and rulers.
Jerry Buhari is an artist and lectures in Fine Art at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Angele Etoundi Essamba 'Burka'


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