South African Cultural Observatory

African art racks up $4m at Sotheby’s auction, but is it good for the continent?

BY 30.05.17

IN celebration of #AfricaDay and #AfricaMonth we focus on some news emanating from the continent and its scholars.  

African art racks up $4m at Sotheby’s auction, but is it good for the continent?

NEW YORK: DESPITE being only a small part of the international art market, African art notched up an impressive $4-million at Sotheby’s first auction of modern and contemporary African art in late May. A total of 83 pieces by artists from Cameroon to South Africa was sold with Ghanaian artist El Anatsui’s taking selling for almost a quarter of the total sales. His sculpture made from discarded aluminium bottle caps and copper wire reached the penultimate price of $950,000. What is clear is that demand for African art is on the rise, especially over the past decade, signalling, what some commentators say is the beginning of a more serious interest from Western museums, which may finally start to consider such work worthy of inclusion in their permanent collections. But is this good for Africa? Chika Okeke-Agulu, associate professor of art history at Princeton, is not convinced it will be good for Africa’s masses who need the art to symbolize the slow process of postcolonial recovery. “The wholesale privatization and “exile” of modern and contemporary art bodes ill for African cultural development.” READ MORE: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/20/opinion/sunday/modern-african-art-sothebys.html?_r=0 AND MORE: https://guardian.ng/art/fragile-diaspora-art-market-challenge-for-africa-based-artists/

 

Nigeria launches programme to support 15, 000 creatives

NIGERIA/BEIJING: THE Federal Government of Nigeria says it will equip about 15,000 creative industry professionals by 2017, through its ‘N–Power Creative Programme’ – a job creation and empowerment initiative mainly focused on film and design; with a view to growing support to 75 000 by 2020. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this in late May at the opening of the 7th African Digital TV Development Seminar in Beijing, China. Mohammed said the N-Power Creative “is a job creation and empowerment initiative by the Federal Government for the purpose of training and encouraging the development of creative and technological skills in young Nigerians’’. The minister identified the areas of focus as animation, graphic illustration, script writing, storytelling, sequential arts, and post production. Mohammed underscored the urgent need for the country to embrace the growing animation technology in order to benefit from what he said had become a 300 billion dollars industry. READ MORE: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/n-power-fg-to-equip-15-000-creative-industry-professionals-lai-mohammed/198768.html

 

Zimbabwean creative economy organisation calls for support

HARARE: Josh Nyapimbi executive the Creative Economy Outlook Zimbabwe (CEOZ)’s recent opinion piece looks at the accolade of Zimbabwe’s musical legend Oliver Mtukudzi – who recently made it onto the Forbes Africa Top 10 Music Moneymaker list – in relation to the failure of the Zimbabwean government to develop a consolidated policy framework to stimulate the creative industry’s growth. His the Daily is piece can be found in the Daily News piece. READ MORE: https://www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2017/05/18/zim-must-support-creative-industries

Nigeria Grants some creative industries tax break Nigeria Grants some creative industries tax break

NIGERIA: THE Nigerian federal government has granted 'Pioneer Status' to the creative industry, in a landmark move aimed at transforming the industry to a creative economy and creating jobs. In a statement at the end of August 2017, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the decision to grant the industry 'Pioneer Status' is in fulfilment of the promise made by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the opening of the Creative Industry Financing Conference in Lagos 17-18 July 2017.

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Rwanda: Government to Invest More in Creative Industry Rwanda: Government to Invest More in Creative Industry

THE Rwandan Government wants to reap more from its creative and cultural industries and this week (Jul 2017) indicated that it plans to inject more funds into the industry. This according to Minister for Trade, Industry, and East African Affairs, Francois Kanimba, who addressed members of the creative and cultural arts industry drawn from different countries around the world in a workshop organised by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) in Kigali.

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Diversity & the decolonisation of SA’s creative industries Diversity & the decolonisation of SA’s creative industries

IT WAS Youth Month in June – and a time for critical reflection on the role the youth, a perennial target of and key player in the creative and cultural industries (CCI).

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Beyoncé launches scholarship to support young women in the arts Beyoncé launches scholarship to support young women in the arts

BEYONCE has unveiled her ‘Formation Scholars’, a new scholarship announced on the one-year anniversary of Lemonade to support young woman in the arts.

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GREETINGS from Toulouse. I am in France building stronger international relations with French institutions. It was also Heritage Month in September and we have been considering the importance of heritage in the arts, culture and heritage matrix. At the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) heritage is a critical consideration for us and in general for the country, and specifically for the Department of Arts & Culture.

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