We are delighted to announce that the 2nd Pan African Conference on the Status and Work Condition of Artists and Cultural Actors in Africa will be held in Dakar, Senegal this year. The conference will take place in May, 7th-13th. The venues in Dakar are soon to be announced.
In 2002, the Pan African Circle of Artists organised a conference on the Status and Work Condition of the Artist in Africa. The conference was held at the National Museum, Enugu, Nigeria. It is 16 years since that conference. A second conference is planned by PACA-Senegal to review the situation of the artist and cultural actor in Africa in the last decade in light of the issues raised at the 2002 conference and in view of the prevailing realities in the art field of today. The conference will be held within the OFF framework of Dak’Art in May 2018. It will provide platforms for artists and writers to meet in a convivial atmosphere and discuss issues of common interest.
Ideas and suggestions are welcome on possible subthemes/issues for discussion at the 2nd conference in light of the issues raised in the 1st conference and in view of the prevailing realities in the African creative world today.
Subthemes for the conference include, but are not limited to, the following:
Art in Africa: The Interface of Theory and Practice
How does theory and practice complement each other in the field of art? How have both realms of the art enterprise fared in Africa, especially in the production of art and knowledge as different faces of the same coin? How is the creative process and spirit harnessed through curricular to help launch potential artists and writers to higher achievement?
Issues in Art(s) Education in Africa/Alternative Roadmaps to Art(s) Education
Education in the arts in Africa has operated mainly as a meal ticket just like many other aspects of education and knowledge production. Yet it is obvious that arts education can be a virile means of addressing issues in the society, as it concerns people’s understanding of, and responses to, the challenges of aspects of the human condition. How can arts education be re-invented in Africa to transcend strictly pedagogical rhetoric and engage society from more eclectic standpoints?
National Museums/Galleries, National Collections and National Identities
Bureaucracy takes a great toll on national art institutions and cultural actions and enterprises in Africa. Most state galleries and museums in Africa are simply part of the civil service and have little or no impact on the lives of artists and cultural actors in the continent. Presentations under this subtheme should interrogate this situation and examine how this situation has made or marred the question of cultural preservation and identity formation in Africa.
Problems of Art Dissemination in Africa
Even as the real and cyber worlds witness astronomical development in various areas, Africa remains underdeveloped in various respects. Such is the case with art dissemination in the continent. The dearth of published materials and the lack of a sustainable if professional critical tradition has been the bane of art practice in these parts. Not only that. The over dependence on, and over-glorification of, foreign instruments/agencies of dissemination (journal, institutions, critics, etc) has not seen the blossoming of local sources. What are the possibilities open to the art communities in Africa if they must confront this situation in practical terms?
The Place of the Critic and Curator in the Art Ecology
If the curator is basically an Occidentalist creature in the art ecology, what is the critic? If the art of criticism in the arts is virtually as old as art itself, how do we evaluate its evolution and trajectory in the art scene in Africa? What are the factors that have held robust, constructive and sustainable critical tradition captive in Africa?
National Policies of Art and Art(s) Education in Africa
In the African continent where the arrogance of politics and politicians hold sway and where development is narrowly defined along infrastructural and economic lines, how has art fared as minority enterprise? How can national policies on arts and art(s) education be positioned to become both functional and relevant in the collective aspirations of the nations, cultures and peoples in the continent?
Mediating the Gap between Art and Society in Africa
As part of the realities of the undying residuum of colonization (postcolonization/neocolonization), art and society in Africa seem to be divorced from each other. This situation reflects the prevalent de-humanizing conflicts that shape society in post-independence Africa. How can artists, critics, and the public re-engage one another towards a return of art to the centre for the urgent re-humanization of society and the amelioration of the human condition?
The Art Market/Agencies of Art Consecration in a Developing Continent
What role can/have museums, galleries, art critics, curators and other consecrative agencies play/played in invigorating the art market in Africa in line with the politics of development and aspirations of the African artist in light of the demands of globalization and internationalism?
Re-colonizing/Decolonizing African Art in the New Millennium
Up until now, most of the major events on African art still happen in the West and Asia. If this is a reflection of postcolonialism, neocolonialism, or even sheer recolonization, how can the arts of Africa be studied, practiced and disseminated on principles of glocalization, so as to safeguard (not drown or isolate) the African voice in the cacophony of voices dominated by the West’s through globalization?
Creative Industries and the National Economies
Art is often seen as esoteric an enterprise that caters to the need of just a small clique of people in the society. And given the gap between arts and the environment, the potential of arts to contribute to the national economy becomes truncated. How can this problem be addressed in the face of the contradictions of (under)development in the continent?
African Biennales, Art Festivals, Book Festivals and the Politics of Internationalism
Arts Festivals, Book Festivals and Biennales are few and far between in Africa. A fraction of the energy and funds channeled to football and sports in Africa (where sports and football are largely funded by governments and politicians) would make so much difference in the African art scene. Yet arts and cultural actions, publishing and in Africa have been neglected, as their potential to contribute to socio-economic development has not been fully appreciated or explored. This reality accounts for the apparent dwindling of important interventions as Dak’Art, Afrika Heritage, Overcoming Maps, and platforms.
Arts, Governments, Politics and Politicians in Africa
The tragedy of arts and arts education in contemporary Africa is the tragedy of governments, politicians, and policy makers. How can the art and creative communities in Africa rouse this sector to action to complement the efforts of artists, writers and art groups in the creation of a virile art/literary scene in Africa?
Inter(net)nationalism and the Creative Enterprise in Africa
With the rise of the internet in the last two decades the notion of a cyber-nationalism has also gained currency. Potentials of the internet as a multi-pronged virtual homeland have transformed various estates of the human condition and creative enterprise. With the problems of underdevelopment and postcolonial dissonance still rife and pregnant in Africa, where do we locate the African artist or writer in this cyber nation and what new prospects does it offer for personal creative achievement and social advancement?
Prospective participants can propose alternative panels.
To propose a panel, send your proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org before March 30, 2018. Participation fee for the conference is USD70.00 payable at the venue.
For further enquiries, call 234-8037244485 or 08033328030 or email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a Commemorative Exhibition at the conference:
Theme: We and Africa/We in Africa: art and reality in Africa
Artists and PACA members are expected to submit works in various media, including painting, sculpture, photography, video and installations. Works should explore the artists’ situation in Africa or the general living condition on the continent with particular interest in the issues of peace, war, crises, human rights, hunger, religious intolerance, terrorism, governance, political arrogance and how they impact development and underdevelopment. Each artist is to submit a maximum of five images of works from which three will be selected by the organizers. Of the three works selected, only two will be reproduced in the exhibition catalogue.
Participation fee for the exhibition is USD65.00.
Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi
Akwele Suma Glory
The Pan-African Circle of Artists, East Africa
The Pan-African Circle of Artists, Dakar
The Pan-African Circle of Artists, Ghana
Chimedie Museum, Onitsha
Alliance Française, Dakar