Publisher: Studio Museum In Harlem
Flow (2008) is a survey of new work by twenty emerging artists. These artists were either born in Africa or born to African parents, and currently live and work across Africa, Europe and North America. Coming of age after the mid-century movements for national liberation in Africa, this generation has witnessed shifts in political, economic and social realities. Within this recent history, Africa is often illustrated in mass media and popular culture through images of warfare, disease and poverty, as well as through celebrity fascination and philanthropic efforts. These representations often fail to articulate the complexities that produce this visual information. The artists presented here express their world through creative visions that have been informed by these changes. Rather than understanding Africa as simply defined by a single position, they offer a multitude of perspectives—sometimes dissonant, at other moments in sync. The work they produce imagines an understanding of Africa that extends beyond geographic borders as it remains engaged with the present realities of African peoples. In this way, the artists remain particularly conscious of the continued foreign involvement on the African continent, as well as the persisting systems of racial classification established under colonialism.