Friday, May 21, 2010

Contemporary African Art in Havana

From a continent known for traditional symbolic production came to us a different type of exhibit. Pieces that mark the contemporaneity in African art —without ceasing to maintain its roots— are being exhibited this month in the Africa House of the Havana Office of the City Historian.

On display there are masks of wood and fiber that are used in ritual ceremonies, such as Muana Pwo, the first representation of the mythical woman of the Cokwe ethnic group in Angola; or the Bamoun mask of Cameroon, which is linked to the religion of that country and made of coins, wood and metal.

Also on view is a traditional door that reflects the Arab past of the Republic of Zanzibar, an oil painting by D. Sibanda from Zimbabwe, as well as audio-visual presentations that contain musical wealth as diverse as the peoples who form the African continent.

According to specialist Lazara Menendez, who inaugurated the exhibition, “The plurality of speech allows us to recognize diversified aesthetic experiences that nurture new re-conceptual readings of cultural legacy.” In this way we can enjoy everything from the most artisanal creations to technological advances traveling across dissimilar spaces of art in Africa, a pluri-cultural continent. “All that is lacking are works of art produced by women – an absence to keep in mind.”

The Africa Museum is devoted to research and the promotion of African culture and its impact in the formation of Cuban culture.

Source: Havana Times
By Irina Echarry

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