MAKING AFRICA _ DESIGN OF A CONTINENT

It’s time to move on from talk of the »Dark Continent«. A major exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum opening doors in March sheds new light on contemporary design in Africa. On the basis of a wide variety of examples, »Making Africa« shows how design is accompanying – and even promoting – economic and political change on the continent. And it engages in a close dialogue with related disciplines, such as the fine arts, graphic design, illustration, film, photography, architecture and urban planning. A central role is played by the new media, which made this shift in perspective possible in the first place.

»Making Africa« is developed together with the internationally renowned curator Okwui Enwezor and supported by the Federal Cultural Foundation of Germany. The exhibition features the objects of Cheik Diallo, eyewear sculptures by Cyrus Kabiru, the photographs of Mário Macilau and Okhai Ojeikere, the architecture of Francis Kéré, the animation art of Robin Rhode and many other creations of designers from different disciplines.

All of the works presented are underpinned by a quest to address questions of material culture and everyday aesthetics – in short, questions of design. The objects show that design in Africa is understood on a much more inclusive level than in Western societies – and they are proof that this understanding can produce innovative new approaches to design.

The cultural historical foundations of »Making Africa« come from a retrospective look at early postcolonial Africa. Back in the 1960s, photographers such as Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé or the South African magazine »Drum« showed a continent beyond wars, crises and catastrophes. The architecture produced during those initial years of independence also epitomizes the emergence of a new era of self-confidence that dissipated over the following decades.

These historical documents run through the entire exhibition where they are systematically paired with contemporary works. These comparisons demonstrate how the young generation often consciously refers to this early body of work and creates a link to the positive sentiment of this past era.

MAKING AFRICA
VITRA DESIGN MUSEUM
14 MARCH – 19 SEPTEMBER
WEIL AM RHEIN
www.design-museum.de



UPCOMING
ART & DESIGN FAIRS


FRIEZE MASTERS 03 OCT/ 06 OCT
FRIEZE LONDON 03 OCT/ 06 OCT

FIAC PARIS17 OCT/ 20 OCT
PARIS PHOTO 07 NOV/ 10 NOV

SCOPE MIAMI 03 DEC/ 08 DEC
DESIGN MIAMI 04 DEC/ 08 DEC
ART BASEL MIAMI 05 DEC/ 08 DEC

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