The 2010s have proven to be a unique time for African photography. In recent years a new wave of thrilling, artistically ambitious photographers has emerged across the continent, all interested in opening up new ways of looking at and understanding what it means to live in Africa, and be African, today.
Bug member and art curator Ekow Eshun has gathered some of the most outstanding artists from this movement in Africa State of Mind, a new exhibition that offers insight into some of the key tendencies and themes informing the practice of the new generation.
“Africa State of Mind takes place at a time in which popular Western views of the continent still remain limited. On one hand, there is the boosterism of an ‘Africa rising’ narrative, thatcelebrates the development of an emergent middle class and the growth of a tech sector driven by a young aspirational population, while glossing over the inequalities of income and opportunity that still stymie social progress in many countries,” says Ekow.
“On the other hand, the reductive stereotype of Africa as a land of would-be migrants and corrupt rulers. A vision given ugly validation by President Trump’s description of its nations as ‘shithole countries’.”
Africa State of Mind runs from 29 September – 16 December at New Art Exchange, 39 – 41 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, UK NG7 6BE. The exhibition then tours, dates and venues TBC www.nae.org.uk