5 key points to understand the art restitution debate
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Left: anthropomorphic Statue of Behanzin, Door of Abomey royal Palace, Both held at musee du quai Branly Jacques Chirac. Pic by Screenshot
Left: anthropomorphic statue of King Behanzin, right: Door of Abomey royal Palace, both held at musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac. (source: musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac)

In a speech on Nov 28th in Ouagadougou, President Macron promised to make the restitution of African heritage held in France, a “top priority over the next 5 years”. The announcement was hailed as historic and marked a departure from France’s official position. It has re-ignited a passionate debate about restitution, national heritage and ownership.

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The largest retrospective of Malick Sidibe’s work at the ‘Fondation Cartier’
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Mali Twist, Malick Sidibé
Right: Nuit de Noel, Malick Sidibé, 19

Fondation Cartier in Paris is staging the largest ever retrospective of the celebrated photographer Malick Sidibe’s work. It comes on the heels of his first ever-solo exhibition in London at Somerset House earlier this year. A year after his death, his work is going through a renaissance as the world is rediscovering his black and white portraits that captured the spirit of a whole generation.

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AKAA, an incredible Parisian stage for African Stories
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Indigo Passage to Healing
“Indigo Passage to Healing”

AKAA, an acronym for Also Known As Africa emerged last year as a new and alternative platform to showcase African Art and Design in Paris. It was a success, drawing in over 15,000 visitors.

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Evans Mbugua “joins the dots” to create dazzling portraits.
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Left: Le Rendez Vous Right: Highlife, Evans Mbugua
Left: Le Rendez Vous Right: Highlife, Evans Mbugua

This is the last week to see Evans Mbugua’s exhibition “Highlife” in Paris. His vibrant Pop art portraits capture the exuberance and the bold style of a multicultural youth whose identity he is exploring.

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Boris Nzebo, the artist who looks at society through its hairstyle
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Painting by Boris Nzebo
Boris Nzebo arrete de mentir, 2016, Galerie Mam Douala

African hairstyles can be elaborate and sculptural. Where most people see a mundane topic or a simple fashion style, the artist Boris Nzebo sees an architecture that he uses as a backdrop in his paintings. Within the silhouette of his characters, he depicts in vivid colors,

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Stunning visual ode to Womanhood at the Gallery of African Art
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Left: Somadina, Rewa 2017 Right: Nwabundo Rewa, 2017 (Gallery of African Art)
Left: Somadina, Rewa, 2017 Right: Nwabundo, Rewa, 2017 (Gallery of African Art)

The exhibition “Sisterhood That Transcends” at the Gallery of African Art in London has been extended until November 23rd. It is a stunning series of visual short stories of womanhood opening a dialogue between the latest body of work of the Nigerian artist Rewa and the “African-focus” photographer Dagmar Van Weeghel.

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African Art at the heart of Matisse’s work
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matisse-in-the-studioThe artist Henri Matisse requires no introduction. Painter, sculptor, leading figure of the fauvism movement, his name is often accompanied by superlatives to describe both his work and his legacy.

The exhibition Matisse in the studio is a sneak peak into his studio life. It examines how his body of work came to being and what influenced his practices. Incidentally, it also demonstrates how much other cultures, especially African Art, came to shape his work.

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When the Black lioness, Zanele Muholi writes the narrative.
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Zanele MuholiAccording to an African proverb made famous by the Nigerian Novelist Chinua Achebe, “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter”. If you have heard that before and wondered what type of story the lion would write, then part of the answer is at the Autograph in London with Zanele Muholi’s latest exhibition, aptly titled “Hail the Dark Lioness” (Somnyama Ngonyama).

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African Art like you have never seen it before at 1:54 London
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Kesh Angels, Hassan Hajjaj, 2010
Kesh Angels, Hassan Hajjaj, 2010

1:54 London is the biggest contemporary African art fair. Over the last five years, the fair has grown in notoriety, attendance and depth to become the platform of choice to experience and discuss the contemporary artistic creation of Africa and its diaspora.

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