Monthly Archives: June 2011

MaComère Journal

Women Writers & Scholars, are pleased to announce that full contents
of past issues (1998-2009) are available online at the Digital Library
of the Caribbean:

Access to full contents is via delayed open access, with an embargo on
the contents of issues published in the last two years.

dLOC patrons are invited to subscribe to the journal to gain access to
full contents of current issues. MaComère is published twice per year
in June/July and December/January. Interested parties can subscribe
individually or request that their libraries subscribe to the journal.
Subscription information is available at the journal’s website:

Current issues are Volume 12.1 (2010) “Resistant Genealogies,” and
Volume 12.2 (2010), a special issue titled “Women & National Political
Struggles in the Caribbean.” Volume 13.1 (2011) on “Women and Theatre
in the Caribbean” will be available this summer.


The Latest from African Books Collective

African Books Collective is now operating fully independently in North America. Put more money into the pockets of African publishers by ordering online at Checkout in North America is by PayPal and throughout the rest of the world by Google Checkout. More information on how to order including shipping costs and delivery times can be found here:

Social networkers, ABC is on Facebook! Help us spread the word and keep up-to-date with all the news, become a fan here:

ABC is pleased to welcome a new publisher this month. Always Be Tolerant Organization (ABETO), Uganda was established and registered as a Non-Governmental Organisation in June 1996. The inspiration was in pursuit of the Commonwealth conference resolution to embrace tolerance:

Lauri Kubuitsile’s short story ‘In the spirit of McPhineas Lata’ from The Bed Book of Short Stories published by  Modjaji Books has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing. The collection is available from ABC and as an ebook from Into-eBooks. Congratulations to Lauri Kubuitsile and Modjaji Books

Some other highlights this month are:

Identity Meets Nationality: Voices from the Humanities. Edited by Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Jemima A. Anderson and Helen Lauer

Managing a Changing Climate in Africa: Local Level Vulnerabilities and Adaptation Experiences, Pius Zebhe Yanda and Chipo Plaxedes Mubaya

Reclaiming the L-Word: Sappho’s Daughters out in Africa. Edited by Alleyn Diesel

This September Sun, by Bryony Rheam

Best wishes from African Books Collective

SAVVY | art.contemporary.african Q&A

Press Release
(see German version below)

Presentation of the Journal
SAVVY | art.contemporary.african

In the Daimler Contemporary Berlin

We would like to invite you to a public presentation of the current edition of the journal and a Q&A session in the Daimler Contemporary Berlin.

PLACE: Daimler Contemporary, Haus Huth, Alte Potsdamer Straße 5, 10785 Berlin

DATE: Tuesday, 14th June, 7pm

The bilingual art journal SAVVY | art.contemporary.african. aims at positioning contemporary African art within current art practice and theory, instigating and encouraging new latitudes of debate and revitalizing the existing deadlocked discourses. Through critical writing on African art and art from its Diaspora, it is intended to grant new perspectives, provide new stimuli and pave new ways for the perception and understanding of contemporary African art.

After the successful first edition of the journal with the title Where do we go from here? / Wohin geht’s?, the second edition was published in May 2011 with the very promising title (Re-) Mapping the field: a bird’s eye view on discourses. On this “Mapping the field” expedition Simon Njami recounts on the incentive and onset of Revue Noire in Ancient guilt, new tool, Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie reshuffles the cards in Where is Africa in Global Contemporary Art? while Riason Naidoo reflects on his historical milestone 1910-2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective, inter alia. The trip also accompanies us through features on Otobong Nkanga and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, negotiates turns on interviews with the likes of Odili Donald Odita in Chromatic Symphony and re-imagines with Ntone Edjabe, publisher of the literary journal of arts, culture and politics, Chimurenga magazine. The journey takes a retrospective glimpse at exhibitions with African artists on board like Make Yourself at Home in the Kunsthal Charlottenborg, The Idea of Africa (re-invented) in the Kunsthalle Bern, AFROPOLIS in Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, Cologne, as well as the Addis Foto Fest 2010 and an almost nostalgic take on Okwui Enwezor’s The Short Century.

The Daimler Art Collection was established in 1977 and comprises of approximately 1800 works by more than 600 international artists. The collection’s distinguished profile is based on the orientation towards abstract-geometric visual concepts. In the Daimler Contemporary – as the showroom is called – the new acquisitions are presented and the different focal points of the collection are introduced with the help of selected works. Between 2001 and 2010, the Daimler Art Collection awarded, among other things, the Mercedes Benz Award for South African Art and Culture and presented the prize winners regularly in Berlin.

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung |

Deputy Editor-in-Chief
Andrea Heister |

Contributions in Edition 1
Simon Njami, Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, Annette Schemmel, Fiona Siegenthaler, Kangsen Feka Wakai, Aicha Diallo, Brenda Cooper, Andrea Heister, Prune Helfter, Nancy Hoffmann, Missla Libsekal, Alanna Lockward, Riason Naidoo, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Katja Vobiller, Claudia Lamas Cornejo, Johanna Ndikung, Simone Kraft



Präsentation des Journals

SAVVY | kunst.zeitgenössisch.afrikanisch.

Im Daimler Contemporary Berlin

Zum Erscheinen der Edition 1 möchten wir Sie zu einer öffentlichen Präsentation und Q&A im Daimler Contemporary am Potsdamer Platz einladen.

ORT: Daimler Contemporary, Haus Huth, Alte Potsdamer Straße 5, 10785 Berlin

DATUM: Dienstag, 14. Juni, 19h

Die bilinguale Kunstzeitschrift SAVVY | kunst.zeitgenössisch.afrikanisch. hat zum Ziel, die zeitgenössische afrikanische Kunst in der aktuellen Kunstwissenschaft zu positionieren, weit reichende Debatten anzuregen und bereits existierende, festgefahrene Diskurse zu revitalisieren. Durch ein kritisches Schreiben über die Kunst Afrikas und dessen Diaspora sollen neue Perspektiven eröffnet, neue Impulse gesetzt und neue Wege begangen werden.

Nach einem erfolgreichen Start des Journals mit dem Titel Where do we go from here?/Wohin geht’s? in Edition 0, brachten wir im Mai 2011 die Edition 1 unter dem viel versprechenden Titel (Re-) Mapping the field: a bird’s eye view on discourses heraus. In dieser “Mapping the field” Expedition geht Simon Njami in Alte Schuld, neues Werkzeug, zurück auf den Ansporn und Anfang von Revue Noire, Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie mischt die Karten in Wo ist Afrika in der globalen zeitgenössischen Kunst? neu und Riason Naidoo reflektiert über den historischen Meilenstein 1910-2010: Von Pierneef zu Gugulective. Während der Reise begleiten uns weiterhin Features über Otobong Nkanga und Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Interviews mit Odili Donald Odita in Chromatic Symphony und Ntone Edjabe vom Chimurenga Magazine. Wir blicken retrospektiv auf Ausstellungen mit afrikanischen Künstlern an Bord, wie Make Yourself at Home im Kunsthal Charlottenborg, The Idea of Africa (re-invented) in der Kunsthalle Bern, AFROPOLIS im Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, Köln, als auch auf das Addis Foto Fest 2010 und unternehmen einen beinahe nostalgischem Trip zu Okwui Enwezor’s The Short Century.

Die Daimler Kunst Sammlung wurde 1977 gegründet und umfasst derzeit rund 1800 Arbeiten von mehr als 600 internationalen KünstlerInnen. Ihr besonderes Profil gewinnt die Sammlung in der Orientierung an abstrakt-geometrischen Bildkonzepten. Im Daimler Contemporary – so der Name des Ausstellungsraumes – sind die aktuellen Neuerwerbungen zu sehen und es werden die verschiedenen Sammlungsschwerpunkte mit ausgewählten Werken vorgestellt. Zwischen 2001 und 2010 hat die Daimler Kunst Sammlung u.a. den Mercedes-Benz Award for South African Art and Culture verliehen und die Preisträger regelmäßig in Berlin präsentiert.

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung |

Stellv. Chefredakteurin
Andrea Heister |

Beiträge in Edition 1

Simon Njami, Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, Annette Schemmel, Fiona Siegenthaler, Kangsen Feka Wakai, Aicha Diallo, Brenda Cooper, Andrea Heister, Prune Helfter, Nancy Hoffmann, Missla Libsekal, Alanna Lockward, Riason Naidoo, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Katja Vobiller, Claudia Lamas Cornejo, Johanna Ndikung, Simone Kraft

Curatorial Intensive in the City of Brotherly Love

Philadelphia Skyline via Wikimedia Commons

On Friday, May 6 MoCADA’s Curatorial Fellows embarked on a Curatorial Intensive to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. So here is their latest post filling you in on the experiences of that day…

MoCADA’s Director of Exhibitions, Kalia Brooks and Director of Education, Ruby Amanze, both of whom hail from the city of brotherly love, planned a 12 hour day of studio visits, meetings with arts professionals, and trips to local arts and African Diaspora institutions. Throughout the day central themes and framing questions emerged. First, what is the artistic and political value of collecting? To what extent can curating serve as a political intervention into a space? What role does technology play in emerging curatorial practices? And finally, what are the political implications of distinguishing between art spaces and ethnically specific cultural institutions?

The day began with a studio visit with photographer and musician Bianka Brunson and visual artist Lorna Williams. Both women’s works express interest in collecting and creating curated space, whether it be made up of physical objects, sounds, or experiences. Brunson, whose music and photography are in constant interplay, creates abstract works that bridge natural elements with human-made sounds/structures through both mediums. Brunson makes her way throughout the Philadelphia music scene, playing DJ sets and riffing off of the energy of the crowds …Read more

Williams presented a large scale mixed-media sculptural piece entitled birth-right, currently on view at the Maryland Institute College of Art where she is completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Williams explained that the piece is extremely personal …Read more

Brunson and Williams’ artistic interest in purposefully constructed space is mirrored in the character of their shared quarters. The two women live and work in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood in a sunny loft filled with plants, books and collected objects. A large altar stands erect in the corner of the main room and a number of guitars hang from the walls as usable art …Read more

Immediately following the studio visit with Brunson and Williams, the Curatorial Fellows and staff traveled to the Temple University campus to visit the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. The Blockson Collection is housed in a large room filled with glass cases of rare books, sculptures, paintings and memorabilia that tell a history of Philadelphia, Afro-America and a wider African past …Read more

Spending time with the materials and speaking with the staff raised questions about the importance of collecting as a means for documenting histories of marginalized groups. Blockson’s collection holds monumental weight as one of the primary depositories for historical items related to Black experience in the United States and abroad. Similar to Lorna Williams’ birth-right, and the Kensington loft, the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection uses objects to tell a specific story that is at once personal, ancestral and political. However, Williams’ and Brunson’s art and loft are read as subjective …Read more

This issue of curatorial practice as a tool for disrupting a dominant narrative was further complicated during the group’s visit to an unconventional art space, Eastern State Penitentiary. According to the institution’s promotional materials, Eastern State is described as, “The world’s first true penitentiary, a prison designed to inspire patience — or true regret — in the hearts of criminals.” Eastern State was active for 142 years, but today the prison is a tourist attraction. Eastern State has a site-specific installation art program, where the penitentiary invites artists to install works within the prison walls. One of the featured installations is a video work entitled Beware the Lily Law by artist Michelle Handelman. Handleman’s installation was undoubtedly a radical intervention into the space. She developed and projected a series of three monologues based on the experiences of gay and transgendered prison inmates on the wall of one of the prison’s cells …Read more

Later that day, the group was greeted by Richard Watson, Curator of Exhibitions at the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP). AAMP is in the heart of Philadelphia’s downtown district, and serves mainly as a historical and cultural museum. Watson led a guided tour of the museum’s current exhibitions and discussed AAMP’s new direction. He explained that the use of technology is at the core of AAMP’s current exhibitions model …Read more

The Curatorial Intensive illuminated new perspectives on collecting, the use of technology and the political potential of curatorial interventions in dominant spaces. These common threads tied the day’s itinerary together, connecting institutions and individuals that at first glance may seem entirely unrelated.

Contributed by:
Isissa Komada-John, Curatorial Fellow

To read the full version of this post click here