Africa Now! | Paris: “The African breeze is blowing on our souls”

Africa Now! | Paris: “The African breeze is blowing on our souls”


“The African breeze is blowing on our souls – Un air d’Afrique Souffle sur nos âmes” is what you read on one of the banners of the installation by Madagascan artist Joël Andrianomearisoa. His artwork is exhibited at Africa Now, at Galeries Lafayette.

griot-mag-Africa Now! | Paris-The African breeze is blowing on our souls-10

Joël Andrianomearisoa

In my humble opinion this sentence perfectly sums up this Africa branded art week in Paris, given that several French institutions have decided to commit their spring-summer cultural programs to the old continent.

Juggling in the chaos of vernissages was not an easy test as usual, but we passed it cum laude and lots of champagne. And art, of course.
griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls griot-mag-Africa Now! | Paris-The African breeze is blowing on our souls-10 - janine-gaellegriot-mag-Africa Now! | Paris-The African breeze is blowing on our souls-Namsa LeubaWe began our tour March 27th with the exhibition Le jour qui vient, a group show curated by Marie-Ann Yemsi. She presented a new generation of artists who tell their vision of the future in a constantly evolving world through their work. They are Igshaan Adams, Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze, Clay Apenouvon, Yesmine Ben Khelil, Julien Creuzet, Frances Goodman, Bronwyn Katz, Lebohang Kganye, Banele Khoza, Lawrence Lemaoana, Mónica de Miranda, Turiya Magadlela, Mohau Modisakeng, Emeka Ogboh and Moffat Takadiwa.

griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls Hope The pussy was worth it - Frances Goodman

Hope The pussy was worth it (2010-2014), Frances Goodman

griot-mag-Africa Now! | Parigi "Un vento d'Africa soffia sulle nostre anime-clay-apouvon-film noir

Film Noir – La ver est dans le fruit (2017), Clay Apenouvon

griot-mag-Africa Now! | Paris"The African breeze is blowing on our souls-I was a hidden treasure, then I wanted to be known (2016) Igshaan Adams

I was a hidden treasure, then I wanted to be known (2016), Igshaan Adams

In the framework of the second edition of the festival 100% Afriques, Cameroonian curator Simon Njami decided to celebrate African metropoles with the exhibition Afrique Capitales. Inaugurated on March 28th the art show was attended by many artists, curators and art agitateurs from all over the world. Njami brought around sixty artists from Africa and the diaspora, including Tayou, William Kentridge, Akinbode Akinbiyi, Franck Abd-Bakar Fanny, Godfried Donkor, Leïla Alaoui, Myriam Mihindou, Emo de Medeiros, Lavar Munroe, Safaa Mazirh, Abdulrazaq Awofeso, Hassan Hajjaj and Abdoulaye Konate.

griot-mag-africa-now-paris-the-african-breeze-is-blowing-on-our-souls-godfried-donkor-new-olympians-series

New Olympians series V – X ( 2017) Godfried Donkor

griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls Maroc (2013),  - Sarah Portrait Erwin Olaf-Winston Salem

Winston Salem – Sarah Portrait (2010)

griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls Le salon (2017), Hassan Hajjaj and Keziah Jones)

Le salon (2017), Hassan Hajjaj (on the right, with Keziah Jones)

griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls - More Sweetly Play the Dance (2015), William Kentridge via

More Sweetly Play the Dance (2015), William Kentridge via

The contemporary art fair Art Paris Art Fair with a focus on Africa Guest of Honour was held in the prestigious venue Grand Palais. From March 30th to April 2nd, the historic building hosted 139 galleries hailing from 29 countries. On display were works by emerging artists at an affordable price compared to those of FIAC, considered the “older sibling” of Art Paris Art Fair. It was a great opportunity to discover or re-discover works by artists such as Namsa Leuba, Romuald Hazoumè, Isaac Mondele, Patrick J. Tatcheda Yonkeu, Benohoud Hicham El Anatsui, Mario Macilau, Wahib Chehata, Alexis Peskine, Boris Nzebo and Mohau Modisakeng  – the latter will represent South Africa at the next Venice Biennale.

griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls - Ga Etsho 5 (2015), Modau Modisakeng

Ga Etsho 5 (2015), Modau Modisakeng

griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls - Zulu kid (2014), Namsa Leuba

Zulu kid (2014), Namsa Leuba

griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls -Hicham Benohoud – 197 petites images déchirées – 2017

197 petites images déchirées (2017) Hicham Benohoud

griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls - Kendell Geers

Kendell Geers

griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls - Victimes (2017), Boris Nzebo

Victimes (2017), Boris Nzebo

griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls - Victoire, Remy Samuz

Victoire, Remy Samuz

griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls - 0

griot-mag- Africa Now! | Paris The African breeze is blowing on our souls - Becoming South Sudan (Portraits) – Sunday (2011), Alinka Echeverria

Becoming South Sudan (Portraits) – Sunday (2011), Alinka Echeverria

Through Africa Guest of Honour, indipendent curator Marie-Ann Yemsi wanted to deconstruct the long-lasting idea of an exotic Africa. But not everyone liked this vision of Africa as a guest of the European art scene. In fact, during the closing party of this African week chez club Colonie, while dancing on the rhythms of West African sounds, Emeka Kupeski Okereke – founder of Invisible Borders – told me: “I found this idea of Africa being a guest of honour at the Art Paris Art Fair very problematic, because we are not guests in Europe, least of all in France. We fought the wars, we died for them, we influenced the European and French culture so much that you can have a complete African experience in Paris. I think this whole idea of Africa as a guest of honour is pushing Africa to the otherness again. It’s like when they say ‘Africa is the Future’. I think it’s a very abusive expression. I don’t know if Africa is the future. Africa is the present. Africa is the past. So I think we should not postpone our narrative into the future. We are in the present. We are here. We are doing things.”

Meanwhile, a few months before the presidential elections Marine Le Pen is rising in the polls…

Africa Now!
Where and when | Galeries Lafayette
March 28 – June 10
Free entrance

Festival 100% Afriques
Where and when | La Villette
March 29 – April 31
26€ – Students <26 years, 15 €  – children <12 years, 10 €
Exhibition |  8 € – Students < 26 year,  5 €

Other exhibitions
Trésors de l’islam en Afrique
Where and when | Institut du Monde Arabe
April 14 – July  30 luglio
12 € / 10 € – < 26 anni, 6 €

 Jean Pigozzi collection + two exhibitions: Être là e Les initiès
Where and when | Fondation Louis Vuitton
April 28 – August 28 agosto

Italian – Africa Now! | Parigi, “Un Vento d’Africa soffia sulle nostre anime”

Featured Image | Brice e Regis Abby | Artwork – Untitled 19 & 20 from the series Inequalities (2016), Turiya Magadlela All Images | (c) Janine Gaelle Dieudji

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Janine Gaelle

Janine Gaelle

I come, I see, I conquer, at least i try... I dropped my luggages 5 years ago in a city I fell in love with, this is how Florence became home to me. I'm a "multi-local", I think we belong to the places we live(d), home is where I feel, my head and my mind rested. Home is where I enrich myself with experiences, people, art and all kind of creativity, as far as I'm concerned, this is what travels are made for, to explore and be the person we decide to be.