On December 18, Expert Panel members met for a final 2020 meeting - virtually. During this fruitful meeting, an excellent exhibition project in Cameroon was presented and the activities planned in 2021 were discussed.


Present: Dr. Ebenezer Acquah, University of Education Winneba, Ghana; Dr. Paul-Henri Souvenir Assako Assako, University of Yaoundé, Cameroon; Dr. Osuanyi Essel, University of Education Winneba, Ghana; Dr. Mary Claire Akinyi Kidenda, Technical University Nairobi, Kenya; Dr. Bea Lundt, University of Winneba, Ghana; Dr. Avi Sooful, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Dr. Bernadette Maria Romain Van Haute, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa; Dr. Ernst Wagner, Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste Munich, Germany




Exhibition  COLLECTIVE MEMORY - NATIONAL MEMORY  in Douala, Cameroon

Dr. Paul-Henri Souvenir Assako Assako reports on the exhibition COLLECTIVE MEMORY - NATIONAL MEMORY which he curated in Douala in October/November, explaining how his students were involved, and further explaining the context and objectives of the exhibition’s theme.

The exhibition took place in the socio-political context in Cameroon marked by separatist demands (transforming the country from a united republic to a federal state). 30 contemporary artists from Cameroon were invited to show a maximum of two works related to the theme of "collective memory".

The aim of the exhibition was to highlight the collective memory expressed in the aesthetic production of artists. The exhibition also aimed to bring into dialogue two levels of the language of visual representations related to national and collective memory: that of the works of artists and that of the critical interpretation of a group of young researchers of art history and visual arts. The latter selected a series of appropriate images to give an interpretation of various aspects of national and collective memory.

An important element of the exhibition should have been videos of interviews with artists speaking on the subject of "collective memory and national memory".  Unfortunately this was not completely successful due to the pandemic. The video of one interview conducted will soon be available on the website. The exhibition is documented in a catalogue that will soon be available for downloading on the website as well.


Concept for a joint virtual exhibition

Dr. Avi Sooful, Dr. Ebenezer Acquah, and Dr. Osuanyi Essel introduce their concept for a joint virtual exhibition, to be “opened” in September / October 2021. The concept was sent to the members in advance. The topic proposed follows Dr. Assako Assako’s idea on how to address the collective (and often fragile) memory of “communities of people” and how this may be concretized in the particular situation / context. Partners involved work on this topic with their students. Memory is related to traditions, history, heritage on the one hand and how young people deal with it today in order to shape their future.

Participating partners may work with other institutions in their country so that the collective ideas are broader and more opportunities are provided. The participating partner will select 10 works related to the respective local context. This can be already existing artwork / visual objects or art works that are specifically created for the purpose of this exhibition. Explanations will be given with respect to each piece together with a small photograph and short biography of the student/artist. Our intention is to publish a catalogue as well that will contribute to an archive of information.

The EVC website will soon offer a tool that allows to show virtual exhibitions. https://www.explore-vc.org/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=210


“Visual Cultures of Africa” – the book

Dr. Mary Claire Akinyi Kidenda informed about the current stage of the book “Visual Cultures of Africa”: more than 40 abstracts have been accepted, the deadline to send the chapters was extended to January 20th. The idea to hold a webinar for interested authors was again discussed. The expert panel agreed that an online-conference for the launch of the book would be the best solution.


Meetings – newsletter – new member of the panel

Dr. Avi Sooful added that online meetings they cannot replace real meetings. An annual conference “Exploring Visual Cultures” would be important to promote the topic further and continuously. Our members in Nairobi, Pretoria, Munich, or Winneba could organize such an event.

Dr. Ernst Wagner introduced the newsletter that will support the idea to “keep the store running” and inform all friends, colleagues, interested people on a regular base.

All members agree to invite Dr. Stefan Eisenhofer, Museum Fuenf Kontinente in Munich, to become member of the Expert Panel.


Next meeting

Monday, January 25th