The images I select are a compilation of various searches intentional and unintentional. I will/have been acquiring these from books, cartoons, galleries and my own hand.

These sights I have selected and will continue to select will come to shape and influence how I approach the image. Not just my own compositions, in regards to painting (by painting I don’t just refer to brush & paint but any form of image/sound making). They will inform and further add to my own analysis of  how and why I see what I see. It is my aim as a person first and foremost and artist second, to engage my own subjective vision with the aim of transforming my work into objective visions that speak across the various eyes and tongues. Whilst still being rooted and inspired by traditional African visual arts, it is my belief that the specific will become the general, the general will become the universal and the universal will show us the infinite. That which we all can see without seeing.

Still from a 2012 Japanese Anime television series called 宇宙兄弟 Uchū Kyōdai (Space Brothers). In this episode of Heaven and Hell, Hibito (one of the main protagonist astronauts) falls into a crater…

From a 2003 BBC documentary on Congolese Musician Papa Wemba, Papa Wemba Le Roi De La sapeThis scene takes place in Brussels, Belgium. The documentary touches on not just Papa Wemba but the Sape culture present in Congo and the Congolese diaspora, the dressing in European high fashion, inherited from colonialism and transformed into a uniquely Afropolitian subculture. It also discusses the idea of Europe (primarily the nations that colonised various parts of the African continent) as a promised land for Africans on the continent, questioning the validity of that claim.

 

When browsing through the uni library I came across a book called Asafo! African Flags of the Fante by Peter Adler and Nicholas Barnard. I was struck by the seamless syncretism of African and European Visual forms that appear in these flags. I have been wanting to find a way to merge European and West African visual traditions (in this case Britain and Fante) that also contain a performative element.

Asafo are traditional warrior groups in Akan society.  The flags take their name from these groups.These appliqued patchwork banners combine the tradition of communication by proverb with military pomp and display. Flags would be created for the installation of a new captain of a local militia company and would be displayed at festivals and funerals. Each unique flag would either depict an historical event, identify the company with an animal or image of power, or depict a proverb to boast, taunt or threaten other companies. The British flag was used until 1957, since then the flag of Ghana is often substituted. The reverse side is appliqued with the same image, usually matching very closely .

The video below shows an Asafo flag dance.

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Nadeem Din-Gabisi