African artists showcases the best the continent has to offer in arts and fashion

Jan 05, 2016 Still on our “Africa in Retrospect” series, we look at the various African artists and designers that redefined the arts and fashion in 2015.

2015 was a big year for African arts and fashions

Nigeria’s Victor Ehikhamenor created a collection tagged “Vote with Ink Not Blood” as part of a series of paintings that engage with African politics.

Speaking on this, he said:

“Each time you have a new election, bringing in new, whether new or old leaders but it’s a new process to vote them, it’s almost like a new moon. It’s almost like a new beginning. So asking for peace, praying for peace is what “Ink not blood” is all about and praying for peace literally In my own way, you know, so, It ties into the whole thing that I started this year In a way that, yes, this is an election year, this is a new beginning, this is a new moon and let there be peace in Nigeria,”

In Kenya, artists held the “Arts 2 End Slavery” exhibition to highlight the different types of modern day slavery in Kenya and beyond.

Grace Mutua, exhibition’s curator, said:

“There’s many different layers and many different levels of human trafficking that’s not just what we hear publicised here about maids being taken to Saudi Arabia for example, like yes that’s a big thing but very well documented so far, and there are a lot of other people researching that specific aspect but at the neglect, dare I say to the other levels of human trafficking that are happening right under our noses,”

Outside the African continent, Nigerian-born Okwui Enwezor became the first African curator at the Venice Biennale.

Speaking about this year’s outing, Enwezor said:

“What we see in the Biennale in terms of the work of African artists here is a richness of the imagination that exists on the continent and for the first time I’m working with a much younger group of artists. Artists that were born in the 80s. Artists that were born in the late 70s coming from across different parts of the continent,”

In Mali, the 10th edition of the African Photo Biennale drew scores of artists and art enthusiasts after political instability caused a hiatus.

At the exhibition, Malian photographer Seydou Camara said:

“I am dealing with terrorism, in particular the one that derives from Islam. These are people who think they know everything better than others. But in fact they have nothing but those black ideas in their brains. This is why I replace the heads in my photos with these black items. They are human beings, but what really is inside their heads is something different,”

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