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Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design

Coming Feb. 3 to May 6, 2018 to the Albuquerque Museum. Africa is a driving force for a new discussion of the potential of design in the 21st Century.

Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design

Making Africa: Cyrus Kabiru, Caribbean Sun, 2012, image from the C-Stunners photography series

Cyrus Kabiru, "Caribbean Sun," 2012, image from the C-Stunners photography series.

Read more about the exhibition, meet the objects and artists, listen to interviews and watch videos

Education programming for this exhibition is provide through the generous support of The Links, Incorporated.


In kind support comes from
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Feb. 3 to May 6, 2018

Showcasing the work of more than 120 artists and designers, "Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design" illustrates how design accompanies and fuels economic and political changes on the continent. Africa is presented as a hub of experimentation generating fresh approaches and solutions of worldwide relevance and as a driving force for a new discussion of the potential of design in the 21st century.

The exhibition focuses on a new generation of entrepreneurs, thinkers and designers from and within Africa, who, as "digital natives," address a global audience and provide the world with an unexpected vantage point on their continent. Okwui Enwezor, advising curator for "Making Africa," states that "the future belongs to Africa, because it seems to have happened everywhere else already."

"Making Africa" can inspire us to view the maker and design community in Albuquerque with greater respect and in relation to a global economic and creative movement," says Andrew Connors Albuquerque Museum's curator of art. "The diverse cultural traditions of the continent of Africa, which consists of more than 2,000 languages and cultural groups, have led to astonishing contemporary combinations of heritage and ingenuity, and the resultant fashion, graphic design, furniture, photography, and video are some of the most interesting being created today."

"Making Africa" features a plethora of work cutting across a wide variety of media, such as the eyewear sculpture of found materials by Kenyan artist Cyris Kabiru, the colorful wire furniture of Cheich Diallo from Mali, the youth lifestyle photography of Mozambican Mário Macilau, and Nigerian J. D. 'Okhai Ojeolere's documentary images of dynamic hairstyles.

Following its premiere at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, the exhibition was presented at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain from autumn 2015. The exhibition is accompanied by a 352-page publication, which offers a first-ever comprehensive overview of African contemporary design.

Gallery Guide

Download the "Making Africa" gallery guide.

Exhibit Sponsor

The exhibition and publication is funded by German Federal Cultural Foundation and Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne.

German Federal Cultural Foundation logo for "Making Africa"