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African Cosmologies: Photography Time and the Other

With essays by essays by Steven Evans, Christine Eyene, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Azu Nwagbogu, Olu Oguibe and Mark Sealy

Produced in conjunction with FotoFest Biennial 2020, African Cosmologies: Photography, Time, and the Other brings together 33 artists of African origins from around the globe whose works challenge traditional notions of Blackness and transnational histories in relation to concepts of liberty, rights, and representation.

Curated by renowned London-based curator, Mark Sealy MBE, the FotoFest Biennial 2020, African Cosmologies: Photography, Time, and the Other brings together over 30 artists from around the globe whose works challenge traditional notions of Blackness and transnational histories in relation to concepts of liberty, rights, and representation. Taking its cues from John Coltrane’s avant-garde jazz oeuvre, wherein formal modernisms of the past are made complex by radical imagination and black-futurity, this presentation of diverse ideas, artistic approaches, and material histories proposes a cosmological exploration of Africa and the contemporary African diaspora; one that defies easy categorization and spatial and temporal boundaries. In their unique practices, the featured artists turn an eye to social, cultural, and political conditions that inform and influence concepts of representation as they pertain to image production and circulation in Africa and beyond. These artists question the ways in which subjectivity is constructed and deconstructed by the camera, and in the process, reveal legacies of resistance by those who defy traditional ideas of sexual, racial, gender-based, and other marginalized identities.

Mark Sealy writes, “Photography for those locked out of the means of image production becomes an impossible barrier to the right to full and equal human recognition. Especially if existence alone is an act of survival.”

For nearly forty years, FotoFest has presented and worked with artists, photographers, and thinkers from Japan, Latin America, Korea, China, Russia, and the Arab Region, and it is the first time in the Biennial’s 37-year history that the central exhibition will focus on artists of African origin.

“FotoFest has a long history of international engagement, and we are especially excited to be working with photographers from Africa and its diaspora in 2020.”
– Steven Evans, executive director of FotoFest.

In their unique practices, the featured artists turn an eye to social, cultural, and political conditions that inform and influence concepts of representation as they pertain to image production and circulation in Africa and beyond. These artists question the ways in which subjectivity is constructed and deconstructed by the camera, and in the process, reveal legacies of resistance by those who defy traditional ideas of sexual, racial, gender-based, and other marginalized identities.

The publication features images by the included artists and essays by Steven Evans, Christine Eyene, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Azu Nwagbogu, Olu Oguibe and Mark Sealy.

The artists featured in the book include:

Faisal Abdu’Allah (UK)
Akinbode Akinbiyi (Nigeria/UK)
Hélène A. Amouzou (Togo/Belgium)
Sammy Baloji (Congo/Belgium)
James Barnor (Ghana/UK)
Bruno Boudjelal (France/Algeria)
Edson Chagas (Angola)
Ernest Cole (South Africa)
Jamal Cyrus (United States)
Jean Depara (Angola/Congo)
Laura El-Tantawy (Egypt/UK)
Samuel Fosso (Cameroon/France)
Eric Gyamfi (Ghana)
Lyle Ashton Harris (United States)
Samson Kambalu (Malawi/UK)
Rotimi Fani-Kayode (Nigeria)
leo with Shobun Baile (Brazil/United States)
Mónica de Miranda (Angola/Portugal)
Santu Mofokeng (South Africa)
Sethembile Msezane (South Africa)
Zanele Muholi (South Africa)
Aïda Muluneh (Ethiopia)
Nyaba L. Ouedraogo (Burkino Faso/France)
Rosana Paulino (Brazil)
Eustáquio Neves (Brazil)
Dawit L. Petros (Eritrea/United States/Canada)
Aida Silvestri (Eritrea/UK)
Lindokuhle Sobekwa (South Africa/United States)
Wilfred Ukpong (Nigeria/UK)
Carrie Mae Weems (United States)
Zina Saro-Wiwa (Nigeria/United States)

African Cosmologies: Photography Time and the Other
Mets en Schilt Uitgevers, Spring 2020
Design: Henk van Assen, HvA Design, Brooklyn
ISBN 9789053309322
Format: 17 x 24.2 cm
Hardback with 2 colour foil stamping and coloured cutting edges
296 pages with 218 photos and illustrations in b&w and full colour

 

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