Transcending “Africa”

Posted: February 13, 2013 at 8:34 pm by

Emeka Okereke proposes a new way to refer to an African artist:

Therefore, rather than talk of the African artist, I propose that we talk about the Trans-African artist. The prefix Trans- by definition connotes “going beyond”, “transcending,” and in some cases implies a thorough change. It suggests dynamism and vigour—that from which something unpredictable emanates. It equally implies crossing back and forth, like in an exchange, and wherever there is exchange, a boundary is traversed into unfamiliar spheres where another dimension takes on existence. Although this term has been used mostly in relation to economic factors as it pertains to particular geographic structures such as in the case of the Trans-African Highways—roads constructed across the continent by the African Union in collaboration with The Africa Development Bank aimed at promoting trade in the view that it will consequentially alleviate poverty, it could equally apply as a metaphor for the method of artistic exchange, or any other exchange for that matter, in Africa today.

Read more on his blog.

[Article first Published by: The New Museum, New York in the exhibition Catalogue: The Ungovernables, Feb. 2012]

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