21 meetings to get 2021 off to a good start

In Sérignan, Paris, Ouagadougou, Cotonou, New York or around the world, indoors or in the open air, on picture rails or hung on railings, during this month of January, where the key cultural events are scheduled. African? Here are 21 proposals for the start of 2021. And don’t hesitate to send us your “must-haves” for this year to [email protected]

At the moment, it is not yet known whether museums in France will really reopen on January 8. In any case, the Ghanaian artist and Golden Lion of Venice, El Anatsui, had already prepared everything for the opening initially scheduled for December 16 of his carte blanche at the Conciergerie de Paris. In search of freedom was conceived as the emblematic opening of the Africa 2020 Season and its more than 200 events in France for ” looking at and understanding the world from an African perspective “. It is also the first solo exhibition of this extraordinary artist in France.

Also awaiting the government green light, Nafi’s Father, which was initially scheduled for theatrical release in France on January 6. A cinematographic gem by Senegalese director Mamadou Dia, Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival and also awarded the audience prize at the festival Views of Africa in Quebec.

Despite the closure of the museums should open, from January 6 to 27, a photographic exhibition on the gates of the Saint-Jacques tower in Paris. A journey in pictures on the challenges of Congolese society. Congo in Conversation is the result of an ambitious collaborative project, coordinated by photographer Finbarr O’Reilly.

From January 7 to 10, in Ouagadougou, the 6th Soko Festival brings together more than twenty musicians and artists from Burkina Faso under the theme Smile to life, with participants from Burkina Faso, Mali, Congo, Niger, Nigeria …

The 29th Suresnes Cités Danse Festival (January 8 – 31), in the Paris region, plans to open its doors with One shot, by choreographer Ousmane Sy, one of the great French representatives in house dance and afro house, who died suddenly last week and whose style incorporates movements inspired by traditional African dances. An exclusive and 100% feminine creation with eight powerful women sharing the stage, on a musical mix of house dance and Afrobeat.

And in Morocco, you still have until January 10 to enjoy the exhibition Welcome Home Vol. II of Al Maaden Museum of Contemporary African Art from Marrakech. From its collection of more than 2,000 works, MACAAL promises “ a unique and captivating aesthetic experience », With a new perspective on contemporary creation on the African continent, also thanks to his particular interest in new mediums.

How to build ” a strong relationship free from the stigma of the past between African states and France “Asks the exhibition Ardent Distance at the Regional Museum of Contemporary Art Occitanie (MRAC), scheduled until March 21. Under the aegis of Moroccan commissioner Hicham Daoudi, it is a question of measuring the distance ” which separates France and the populations of the African continent ».

The new film by Tunisian director Kaouther ben Hania should be released in theaters in France on January 13. The man who sold his skin tells the story of a Syrian refugee forced to enter into a Faustian pact with a contemporary artist.

Les Abattoirs, Musée – Frac Occitanie Toulouse present Africa in all its states of art. Until May 30, Beyond the appearences brings together African artists who share questions about transmission in contemporary societies which, beyond Africa, find resonance in France and in the rest of the world. The poetic starting point of the exhibition is a reflection by Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambéty.

From January 14 to April 3, the Comœdia Espace d’Art in Brest, Brittany, offers Visions of Africa. An exhibition on the place of contemporary African creation and with crossed views.

From January 22, the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (MAM) offers the exhibition The Power of My Hands. Africa (s): women artists. Works produced by sixteen women artists from several English-speaking and Portuguese-speaking African countries, or from the diaspora, offering a glimpse of a contemporary African art scene little presented in France. One of the many proposals for the Africa 2020 Season, organized until July 2021 in France.

January 23 is expected the grand inauguration of the Paris Stock Exchange, transformed by architect Tadao Ando. Located in the heart of the French capital, this new flagship institution of contemporary art will host over 6,800 square meters some of the 10,000 pieces from the collection of billionaire and patron François Pinault. It remains to be seen what place will be given to the works of African artists.

You have until January 31 to send your manuscript for the 2nd edition of the literary prize Voices of Africa, initiated by RFI and JC Lattès editions to bring out young French-speaking authors from the African continent. The winning novel will be nominated next March for publication scheduled for September. The winner will also benefit from a residency at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris, partner of the prize. Who will be the successor of Abobo Marley, winner of the 2020 award?

Between January 18 and 24, the International Documentary Festival (FIPADOC) in Biarritz promises ” exceptional works selected from all over the world », So certainly also films from Africa.

Until January 23, you can discover the Artists of the World, an exhibition at the French Institute in Cotonou. Curator Dominique Zinkpé brought together a dozen contemporary visual artists from Benin to invest in the fields of painting, sculpture, photography, installations, video art …

Extended following the confinement, you still have until July 5 to visit the major exhibition Kinshasa Chronicles at the City of Architecture and Heritage in Paris. 70 Kinshasa artists make their imaginations vibrate to make us hear the creative energy and the foundations of the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A collective artistic work in the form of chronicles.

January 24 will be the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture (JMCA), proclaimed by Unesco in 2019. The idea is to promote all kinds of events related to African and Afro-descendant culture, essential for the development of the continent and for humanity in general.

The Parisian gallery Magnin-A still presents until February 20 an exhibition of very young African artists. The Congolese Hilary Balu |, 28 years old, staged in his last series, Journey to Mars, metaphorically the tragedy of contemporary migration. As for the Nigerian Joseph Obanubi, this multimedia artist was in the final of the Contemporary African Photography Prize 2019 with Techno Heads, and won the British Council Award for Emerging Artists in Nigeria in 2019.

From January 29 to February 6, the Clermont-Ferrand International Court Festival, in the center of France. While waiting to know if there will be African films in the 2021 competition of the largest festival in the world dedicated to short films, we can already be delighted with the special selection “Regards d’Afrique” which always offers a discovery of young filmmakers. Africans giving ” the tone of a new Africa ».

Sea art (“The Art of the Sea”) is entitled the exhibition that the Metropolitan Museum à New York has just opened on artistic exchanges on the edge of the Caribbean Sea before the 16th century between the Taíno civilizations of the Antilles archipelago and their powerful peers on the continent. This is the first Met exhibition to consider the Caribbean as its own contact zone. Works of art on display until June 27 celebrate the region’s ancestral traditions, and a 20th-century painting by an Afro-Caribbean artist explores their enduring heritage.

Until May 2, the Zeitz Mocaa Contemporary Art Museum in Cape Town, South Africa, presents Waiting for Gebane, a retrospective of the South African artist Let’s do Marasela. The exhibition traces important themes in her practice, particularly with regard to the alter ego of the artist, Theodorah. Inspired by her mother, she explores the role of black women working in South Africa, subjected to the devastating effects of migration, patriarchy and apartheid.

Send us your “must-haves” of African culture in 2021 at [email protected]

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