Upcoming programme

Upcoming programme


Andrew Esiebo, Who we are, 2012. Lambda print, 50 x 70 cm, edition of 5 + 2AP. Courtesy of Raw Material Company.

May 6, 2014

Programme at Raw Material Company
May–July 2014

Raw Material Company
Center for art, knowledge and society
4074 bis Sicap Amitié 2
BP 22710 Dakar
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10am–7pm

T +221 33 864 0248


“Our Bodies: Loving Self, Identity & Personal Liberties”
7–8 May

“Today I believe in the possibility of love; that is why I endeavour to trace its imperfections, its perversions.” 
–Frantz Fanon

Fanon, the father of what is considered postcolonial studies, traces the affects of colonialism not just on the mere physical geography of land and territory but rather, what is considered more damaging, the scars, traces and imprints of colonialism on the geographies of the physical body. Fanon’s statement about love is an invitation to embark on a journey of true liberation from the chains of colonialism to attain personal liberties. “Our Bodies: Loving Self, Identity & Personal Liberties” is a two-day seminar of personal development and enrichment. Building on the primary subject of the exhibition Precarious Imaging through communal dialogue, personal narrative, and interpersonal exercises, we will engage with Fanon’s possibility of love. The seminar is led by Dr Myron Beasley, Associate Professor of African American Studies, Bates College.

Dakar Biennial OFF Programme
Precarious Imaging
Visibility Surrounding African Queerness
11 May–18 July

Opening: Sunday 11 May, 19h

Curated by Koyo Kouoh and Ato Malinda

This exhibition is the second act in a year-long programme that addresses Personal Liberties with an emphasis on homosexuality and the growing homophobia in African societies. It is the history of activism that with visibility come human rights. But what is to be done when visibility incites violence against the minority? The shared condition of precariousness implies that there will be casualties. The work of Zanele Muholi at crime scenes in South Africa exposes this violence; lesbians are raped and killed for the disdainful reason that they are different. Muholi’s portrait series “Faces and Phases,” now famous worldwide, will be shown in Dakar for the first time. The still ongoing series of black and white portraits exposes the African lesbian as any other woman. Nigerian photographer Andrew Esiebo has explored this persecution in western Africa through video and photography. In the portrait series “Who we are,” Esiebo digs in the normality of gayness and challenges his audience to render the essentialities of difference: We become hard-pressed to find the difference between a homosexual and a heterosexual. Granted, some may say that before Africans accept homosexuality, we have to first stop the blind dispersal of the fallacy of its disinherited African traits. There has been evidence of pre-colonial homosexuality, although this is not the primary focus of this exhibition, it is no doubt of interest to many. Perhaps unintentional, the work of Kenyan artist Jim Chuchu speaks of a pre-colonial African paganism, before the stringent effects of Christian missionaries and Islamic beliefs had taken hold of sexuality. Chuchu’s work speaks to a known past when the word ‘sodomy’ was unknown by us, and same-sex activities were an accepted preference. In our post-colony world, African sexuality is covert and clandestine. We talk about our relations behind closed doors and simultaneously, as the colonist taught us, we forbid sexual acts that we have learned as counter natural. This aberrant conundrum we find ourselves in is explored by Egyptian artist Amanda Kerdahi M. Kerdahi M.’s “100 conversations” with Egyptian women is undoubtedly intriguing as women expose a part of life that they are forbidden to speak of while smoking a cigarette, another act publicly forbidden to women. Kader Attia’s single-channel video Collage is about the lives of transsexuals in Algiers and Bombay. It questions the possibility of objective testimony. At the same time, it challenges the structural coherence one associates with artistic narrative.

International symposium:
Condition Report (2)
On Artistic Education in Africa
26–28 June

Condition Report (2) is a three-day international symposium on artistic education in Africa organized in collaboration with Dakar’s Ecole Nationale des Arts, and convened by Mamadou Dioum, Director Ecole Nationale des Arts; Koyo Kouoh, Artistic Director, Raw Material Company; and Chika Okeke-Agulu, Associate Professor, Princeton University. The symposium follows on the first programme in January 2012, which focused on emergent independent art institutions in Africa.

Formal art training in Africa began more than a hundred years ago either as a part of nationalist programme of cultural development or as an ancillary component of colonial education. In the wake of political independence by the mid-20th century, new African states vigorously pursued autonomous national cultural programmes, including the establishment of new art and cultural institutions, or expansion and reorientation of existing, colonial ones. However, the Structural Adjustment Programs of the 1980s and 1990s severely impacted culture and education industries; in the ensuing turn to the so-called productive sectors of the devastated economies, art education for the most part witnessed a dramatic decline in quality, scale and ambition. The symposium will consider how art schools in Africa might be reinvented and retooled to become sites of new trans-disciplinary pedagogical approaches and ambitious experimental projects and methods. It will also consider how to sustain the role of art schools as sites of knowledge production and sharing, research and archival practices and as catalysts for new strategies of international artistic networking.

The main objective of this second international symposium is to provide a platform and opportunity for examining artistic pedagogies and practices, institutional policies and traditions, and how these contribute to the production, transmission and perpetuation of artistic and visual knowledge in African academies. Participating thinkers, faculty, artists, and cultural practitioners working in the educational and academic field will reflect on crucial and urgent matters relating to systematic revitalization of artistic education in African countries. Invited participants will provide analyses of the current situation as well as articulate possible futures for (academic) art teaching in Africa given the changing contours of national imaginaries and the shifting global economic and political landscape.

Among some case studies that will be presented during the symposium, particular attention will be given to the lack of funding that leads to a steady decrease of the teaching quality as well as access to contemporary tools of artistic and intellectual production. One of the core aim of the symposium is to look closely at certain artistic and curatorial projects that influenced the formation of cultural connections among African countries and stimulated the rise of non-degree based workshops, artists collectives and related educational initiatives. How might art schools, despite their need to fulfill set curricular and academic mandates, draw on the vitality of non-degree programmes? What collaborative possibilities exist between formal and informal art schools, especially given the changing dynamics of the art world, the need for broadening the spaces of artistic, aesthetic and socio-cultural transaction and exchange in Africa?

The symposium will consist of closed and public sessions. Presentations and discussions will address following themes: 
Faculties & Narratives: Histories of art academies in Africa
Curriculum & Syllabus: Content and orientation of teaching 
Alternative Education: Workshops and artists collectives
Comparative global contexts of art pedagogies

Speakers include Mara Ambrožič, Alioune Badiane, Roger Buergel, Jerry Buhari, Ana Paula Cohen, Elsbeth Court, Mamadou Dioum, Bassam El Baroni, Meschac Gaba, Seyni Gadiaga, Raimi Gbadamosi, Amal Issa, Abdoulaye Konate, Steven Henry Madoff, Mathilde Moreau, Patrick Missassi, Willem de Rooij, Issa Samb and Pooja Sood.

Attendance is open to a limited number of forty participants selected on a first come, first served basis. Interested international participants are requested to contact the coordination for registration and travel information.

Marie Hélène Pereira: mariehelene [​at​] rawmaterialcompany.org
Marie Cissé: mariecisse [​at​] rawmaterialcompany.org

Raw Material Company is partly supported by self-generated funds. We gratefully acknowledge support from the Senegalese Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Dak’Art OFF, Arts Collaboratory, Foundation for Arts Initiatives, Goethe Institut, Johann Jacobs Museum, and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Dakar.

About Raw Material Company
Raw Material Company is a not-for-profit center for art, knowledge and society. It is an art initiative unfolding within the realms of exhibition making, creative residencies, knowledge sharing, and archiving of art theory. It works to foster appreciation and growth of artistic and intellectual creativity in Africa.

Upcoming programme at Raw Material Company
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May 6, 2014

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