African Renaissance: Arts as the Expression of Citizen Engagement and a Lever for Development

Date: 4/17/2009
Time: 6:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: Einstein Auditorium, NYUSteinhardt Department of Art & Art Professions, 34 Stuyvesant St., Barney Building, Ground Floor, (At 9th St., b/w 3rd & 2nd Aves.)

Hosted by NYU Wagner Student Alliance for Africa (WSAFA), in collaboration NYU Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions, and the Thoyer Colloquium on African Art.

Artistic expression in Africa and in the Diaspora is multifaceted. The art has been enhanced by the diversity of its mission-from engaging citizens in a discourse on the future of Africa to saving and transforming people’s lives. In literature many African writers such as Chinua Achebe repudiated stereotypes and images about Africa and Africans. This was an important motivation for many African film makers.  African musicians, visual artists, and designers are using their chosen medium as a vessel for African development. Like the rest of the world, Africa faces many social, economic, and political challenges. However, the acknowledgment of the role art has been, not only in rehabilitating and fighting stigma in the communities, but also in making them authors rather than subjects in development. Artistic expression has ushered an era of a greater citizen’s engagement where several partners have come together to reflect the new image of Africans as told by themselves. The greater citizen's engagement through art is painting a new image of Africans as co-partners in development. This event aims to facilitate a conversation between several actors within the artistic world to reflect ways in which art can be used to establish a new image of Africa and should be recognized as an effective tool in development. We aim to draw attention to the unique and rich culture that adds a strong supplementary path in achieving Africa’s myriad development needs. 

- Awam Amkpa PhD., Associate Professor of Drama, Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU Africana Studies Program
- Ross Bleckner, Artist and Clinical Professor of Studio Art, NYU Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions
- Djibril Diallo, PhD. Lon., Senior Communications Advisor, UNAIDS New York Office.

Reception to follow, space is limited. RSVP required.