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Round table: African Artists Visualizing Africa

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
12:00 AM
4701 Haven Hall

This round table (see attached bios) will consider how images shape the substance of our personal and collective memories, at the same time as they locate visions of the past, and project scenes of the future. Attending to the visualization of Africa, speakers will interrogate the ways in which communities express and document their heritage and continuing identities through the vast array of tangible and intangible forms and formats that make up the archive. Not just a repository of records, the archive can never be seized in its entirety, yet governs that which can be uttered in the present. Traces of buried, discontinued, or untold stories about the past can also be discerned at the margin of the archive by the eager eye who reaches for them. As powerful and affective mnemonics, images thus draw the contours of the politics of historio-graphic representation. Images of the archive, archiving images, images as archiving in process: at the crossroads of this Borgesian garden of forking paths we find the African artist. What then, is the role of the African artist vis-à-vis the archive and its images? This is the question to which the participants at this round table will turn their attention.

Anita Afonu, Louisa Babari, Pascale Obolo and Benoït Godefroy Moutouwouo