MAVUNO: Refreshing the visual culture of eastern Africa

Elsbeth Court (SOAS)
Zachary Kingdon (zachary.kingdon@nmgm.org)
John Mack (john.mack@uea.ac.uk)
Literature, media and the visual arts
Start time:
13 September, 2006 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:


Long abstract:

Mavuno [Swahili: new crops] challenges the oft-cited cliche about lacuna in the visual arts of ea! stern Africa, which is rather a scandal of underdevelopment and blotchy research. This panel introduces three, NEW jointly-authored books that engage with the cultural complexity of visual culture in the region from the Upper Nile - Sudan, to the Indian Ocean - Mozambique: EAST AFRICAN CONTOURS: REVIEWING CREATIVITY AND VISUAL CULTURE (8 essays), HAZINA[[Swahili:good things]: TRADITIONS, TRADE AND TRANSITIONS IN EAST AFRICA (essay & some 20 object descriptions), ARTISTS AND ART EDUCATION IN AFRICA (15 essays by eastern Africans and/about the region). Two volumes arise from academic events and two are associated with experimental, collaborative research projects involving curators from Africa. All three utilize several disciplines: anthropology, art, art history and archaeology for application in education and museology.Two conceptual shifts stand out for critical attention: the efficacy of a regional approach to cultural practices and the dialogic interface of anthropology and art in the configuration of the contemporary, including the inscription of modern art. This session is the prelude to the 2nd conference of the Eastern Africa Visual Traditions group at the British Museum, 13 & 14th Sept, 2006. We would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the British Museum.