Art. Life. Politics
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
EMOWAA Appoints Chika Okeke-Agulu and Aindrea Emelife
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Slade Lectures 2023: Lecture 4: Prison Drawing: Ibrahim El Salahi in Al Nimeiry’s Sudan, 1970s
Two years after its political independence from Egypt and Britain in 1956, Sudan witnessed the first of many military coups that have been a recurring feature of the country’s postcolonial history. In this lecture, I focus on the calligraphic figuration of Ibrahim El Salahi (b. 1930), the country’s leading modernist and one-time political prisoner. I show how the sophisticated formalism of Salahi’s drawings constituted a meditative critique of General Jaafar Al Nimeiry’s dictatorship (1969-1985), which survived multiple coups d’état, by stoking religious and ethnic crises, and systematic suppression of all political opposition.
To listen, click HERE:
Slade Lectures 2023: Lecture 3: "To speak in Parables: Dumile Feni in Hendrik Verwoerd’s South Africa, 1960s"
Sunday, February 5, 2023
Slade Lectures 2023: Lecture 2: "Gazbia Sirry and Egyptian Artists in The Nasserite State, 1950s-1960s" podcast
Slade Lectures 2023: Lecture 1: "African Artists in the Age of the Big Man" podcast
African Artists in the Age of the Big Man
In these lectures, I present five artists whose work exemplifies the difficult relationship of art and power as Africa's decolonization gave way to the emergence of undemocratic polities ruled by charismatic and repressive strongmen, in the second half of the twentieth century. I argue that these artists developed new artistic forms through which they established themselves among the most articulate critical voices of their day. Moreover, by examining the relationship of art and strong-man politics, I reflect on power and critical culture, and I juxtapose art’s imaginative ambitions with its limits and possibilities as a platform for a critique of and resistance to regimes of domination in late 20th-century Africa. In the introductory lecture, I explore the concept of the “big man” as the pervasive figure of power in Africa decades after political independence. I also trace the diverse resonances and manifestations of the big man figure in the work of contemporary African artists and writers. Finally, I consider the shift among modern African artists during this same period from articulating positive national culture to analysis and critique of emergent forms of autocracy and illiberal governance".
Click HERE to listen to the lecture
Thursday, December 8, 2022
Assistant Director, Africa World Initiative @ Princeton University
Assistant Director, Africa World Initiative
- Academic Administration
- Job Type
Africa World Initiative (AW) seeks a highly motivated and committed professional to join its office. The Assistant Director will work under the leadership of the Director of AW to support and establish African Research and programing on campus. The Assistant Director will oversee the administrative and logistical needs of this newly established unit. This position will be responsible for managing as many as five research hubs, budgets, communications, annual reports, Advisory Council meetings, web development, marquee events, fellowships, and research opportunities.
The primary purpose of the position is to facilitate the mission of AW as defined by its Director. The Assistant Director will provide excellent service to a variety of constituents (i.e., students, alumni, faculty, staff, and guests) while coordinating logistics, assigning and managing projects, and supervising and evaluating three or more AW staff members. The Assistant Director will develop, monitor, delegate and review specific projects and events. AW programs and activities on Africa range across science, technology, social sciences, arts and humanities, entrepreneurship and digital humanities.
This position provides a unique opportunity to positively impact a broad range of new and established programs and services offered by the African World Initiative. This role requires deep and current knowledge of University policies, and priorities to best represent the University and assist campus personnel and external partnerships engaging in Africa-related work. This position requires a proactive attitude with problem-solving skills.
Managing the AWI Administration and Logistics:
Provide leadership and supervision of staff members and fellows.
Act as a liaison to faculty and visiting faculty administration.
Oversight of the budget for AWI.
Producing annual reports for the Director of AWI.
Organizing the logistics for the advisory council, marquee lectures and conferences for AWI.
Collaboration and relationship management
Manage relationship with PAS and PIIRS
Manage Research Initiatives and opportunities, including AW research hubs.
Assist director in strategic plans, new programs and general success and growth of AWI.
Coordinating campus-wide and external partnerships.
Oversee funding and sponsorship initiatives.
Oversee AWI communications and public engagement.
Bachelor’s degree and 7+ years of related experience.
Extensive knowledge about and experience with managing Africa-related program and initiatives in research universities or equivalent institutions.
Strong organizational and project management skills, analytical and problem-solving skills, and attention to detail partnered with the ability to think strategically.
Ability to communicate clearly, effectively, and persuasively, especially in writing.
Ability to build and maintain effective relationships; influence and persuade without direct authority; and establish collaborative partnerships within and outside the University.
Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Repatriation Movement Heats Up!
There is no question that the Repatriation Movement is heating up. The campaign for the return of African cultural heritage looted from the continent during the colonial era by rapacious agents of empire took decades to gain steam. Now there is no going back! Little by little, one crucial step at a time, led in significant ways by the government of Germany in Europe and the Smithsonian in the US. Those who think that this campaign will simply fade away, as did earlier ones, are in for a different reality: the campaigners are in for the long haul, and there is enough air in their lungs to keep calling out the defenders of Empire's crimes 70 x 7 years to come.
In the meantime, I appreciate the gestures and actions of colleagues and officials in France, Germany, the UK, and the US who have steered their institutions to commit to the return of looted artifacts in their holdings, like the staff at Horniman. This includes frankly folks at the British Museum who must have to deal with the politics of Britain's new culture-warriors-in-government, like its former Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden MP who in this interview with BBC4 claims that he "loves Benin Bronzes", while defending, with a tremulous voice, why the looted Benin artifacts detained by the British Museum will not be returned.