A symposium on Artistic Education in Africa — entitled “Condition Report (2)” — is to be held over three days, running from 26 to 28 June 2014. Taking place at RAW Material Company, a cultural centre in Dakar, and organised in collaboration with Dakar’s École Nationale des Arts, the symposium promises to shed some light on the current academic approach to art in Africa.
Serving to build on the issues explored by a similar conference in 2012, which took as its focus emerging independent arts institutions throughout the continent, this edition is to focus on four central aspects of Africa and its arts education. The topics to be discussed are: “Faculties & Narratives: Histories of art academies in Africa”; “Curriculum & Syllabus: Content and orientation of teaching”; “Alternative Education: Workshops and artist collectives”; and “Comparative global contexts of art pedagogies”.
Africa has witnessed over a century of changes to its systems of art training, which developed as part of a strong colonial influence or as an outcome of cultural development programs. Following Structural Adjustment Programs which took place in the 1980s and 1990s, the practice has witnessed a decline in quality and funding, prompting the organisers of the symposium to consider the crippling effects of low budgets and the need for a socio-cultural transaction in Africa.
The event is to feature both closed and public discussions and is to welcome speakers from artistic and academic backgrounds, including Mara Ambrožič, Seyni Gadiaga and Elsbeth Court, amongst others. It is to be convened by Mamadou Dioum, Director of the École Nationale des Arts, Koyo Kouoh, Artistic Director, Raw Material Company, and Chika Okeke-Agulu, Associate Professor, Princeton University.