Thursday, July 22, 2021
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
New lecture series in honour of Okwui Enwezor celebrates premiere
Christian Wißler Pressestelle
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Today, June 1 at 9:40AM EST, WNYC's popular program, The Takeaway, guest-hosted by Melissa Harris-Perry for Tanzina Vega, featured a discussion on the restitution of African Art by European and American museums and collections. Here below is the information published on the program page and a link to the podcast. The other program guest, along with me, is Karen Attiah who is the Global Opinions Editor and award-winning journalist at Washington Post.
|Undated photo put out by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, shows an illegally smuggled, artifact repatriated from the United Kingdom|
( Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities / Associated Press )
The murder of George Floyd — and last summer’s protests against systemic racism — reignited conversations about the racist and colonialist legacies of so many institutions across the globe, including museums.
Now, some museums are making good on their promises to fight systemic racism in very tangible ways. This April, in a historic move, Germany announced it would return stolen African artifacts currently in its museums back to Nigeria including the priceless Benin Bronzes of the then-Kingdom of Benin. And in March, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland agreed to repatriate its Benin Bronze. France also indicated similar plans last year.
Yet some museums — including the famed British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art — have not committed to doing the same, despite having sizable collections of looted objects like the Benin Bronzes.
Karen Attiah, global opinions editor at the Washington Post, and Chika Okeke-Agulu, professor at Princeton University in the Department of Art & Archaeology, joined The Takeaway to discuss the calls to repatriate stolen items to their origin countries.
Click here to listen to the radio program
Thursday, May 27, 2021
African Artists from 1882 to Now (Pre-order)
Phaidon Editors with introduction by Chika Okeke-Agulu and glossary by Joseph L Underwood
A groundbreaking A-Z appraisal of the work of over 300 modern and contemporary artists born or based in Africa
In recent years Africa’s booming art scene has gained substantial global attention, with a growing number of international exhibitions and a stronger-than-ever presence on the art market worldwide. Here, for the first time, is the most substantial survey to date of modern and contemporary African-born or Africa-based artists. Working with a panel of experts, this volume builds on the success of Phaidon’s bestselling Great Women Artists in re-writing a more inclusive and diverse version of art history.
Size: 290 x 250 mm (11 3/8 x 9 7/8 in)
Pages: 352 pp
Illustrations: 315 illustrations
About the author
Conceived and edited by Phaidon editors.
Chika Okeke-Agulu is Professor of African and African Diaspora Art at Princeton University. He is the author of several books including Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria (2015), and is a co-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art.
Thursday, May 20, 2021
How time flies! It is already more than six years ago that my friend and teacher El Anatsui was in Princeton as the Sarah Lee Elson, Class of 1984, International Artist-in-Residence. The highlight was, of course, the acquisition of his work, Another Place (2014) by the Princeton University Art Museum.
|El Anatsui, Another Place, 2014|
And then there was our public conversation on campus, April 22, 2015, which I cherish, as I have several others we have done over the years.
Last week, "The World", the radio program on PRI, published a podcast in response to the news from Germany to the effect that the German government plans to return the Benin Bronzes in its state museums. The story was anchored around an interview with me by the reporter Sarah Birnbaum. Listen to the 5-minute feature here:
On May 17, the Cambridge Union, reputedly the world's oldest debating club, at Cambridge University hosted one of its debate panels, this time on the question: "Should Museums Return their Colonial Artefacts"? The four invited debate participants were: Dr. Monica Hanna who is acting Dean of the College of Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) in Aswan, Egypt; Dan Hicks, archaeologist and anthropologist and Professor of Contemporary Archaeology at the University of Oxford, Curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum, and a Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford. He is also the author of the hard-hitting book, The Brutish Museums (2020); Felwine Sarr, a humanist, philosopher, economist, and the Anne-Marie Bryan Chair in French and Francophone Studies at Duke University, and is the author of Afrotopia (2019); and me. Cambridge Union Speakers Officer Tara Bhagat moderated. I really liked this panel--among the many that I have been involved in this past year, on the subject of restitution of African artefacts in European and American museums and institutions.
If you are interested in learning news stuff about the issues pertinent to the vexed question of colonial-era looting of African artefacts and cultural heritage, the fate of the captive objects, and the broader meaning and scope of restitution, the full panel can be found here on Youtube.